The Wanted star Max George has been accused of homophobia, after speaking in a television interview to say that he thinks Louis Tomlinson of One Direction may be about to come out as gay.

Critics have taken the claim, made by George during an US television interview on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live, with a pinch of salt, given the rivalry between the two bands, and jokes made in the past by members of The Wanted, about rumours surrounding Tomlinson’s sexuality.

When asked by host Andy Cohen which member of One Direction might come out as gay, George immediately replied “Louis”.

Tom Parker of the Wanted previously tweeted Louis Tomlinson with a reference suggesting the 21-year-old One Direction star was in the closet, and should come out.

Alluding to rumours around Tomlinson’s sexuality, despite having a long term girlfriend, Parker wrote: ”I’ll enjoy the press even more when you come clean #narnia #itgetsbetter.”

US rock music group Wheatus, slammed the band, after the ‘homophobic’ tweet about Tomlinson, which used the hashtag #itgetsbetter.

Some have questioned the motives on members of The Wanted, for drawing attention to rumours, branding the band “homophobic”, and questioning what business they have with One Direction’s private lives.

One Twitter user accused The Wanted of “using One Direction for press coverage, saying: “Pls shut up max and stop using 1D for press coverage it’s getting really boring now”.

While appearing on Australia’s 2Day FM, Jay McGuiness, of the band joked that most of his band mates would “dabble” with gay sex.