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Music

Liam Payne refuses to comment on biphobia claims after insisting controversial song lyrics are about being open-minded

Emma Powys Maurice December 11, 2019
Liam Payne

Liam Payne at Gare du Nord station on November 19, 2019 in Paris, France (Marc Piasecki/GC Images)

Liam Payne has refused to respond to the criticisms of bisexual stereotyping in his latest album, which he previously described as a celebration of the message “love is love”.

The former One Direction star was contacted by HuffPostUK after the song ‘Both Ways’ began to attract criticism for playing into harmful ideas about bisexual people. His spokesperson declined to comment.

In an earlier BBC interview, Payne said the song was his favourite from his new album LP1, suggesting that the lyrics are about being open-minded in the “world of ‘love is love'”.

“People [are] becoming much more understanding about the way love is,” he said. “And rightly so.”

Liam also insisted the song is not based on his own experiences, adding: “I don’t know who in the studio had actually been in this situation, because I certainly haven’t, but it was an interesting song to write.”

The song includes the lyrics: “My girl, she like it both ways. She like the way it all taste / Couple more, we’ll call it foreplay / No, no, I don’t discriminate.”

It’s followed by the chorus: “Flipping that body, go head, I go tails / Sharing that body like it’s our last meal / One and a two and a three, that’s for real.”

Liam Payne
Liam Payne on stage with Rita Ora at The Fashion Awards 2019 (Lia Toby/BFC/Getty)

Shortly after its release fans began to raise issues with the lyrics, and the hashtag #LiamPayneIsOverParty began trending on Twitter.

“Stop making bisexuality into a fetish and stereotyping it for a way to have threesomes,” one user wrote. Another agreed: “As a bisexual woman I just can’t even comprehend what the f**k made Liam think ‘Both Ways’ was an OK thing to release.”

Meg Murphy from campaign group Bi-Pride UK told BBC: “As a woman who exists on dating apps you get pretty tired very quickly of people asking things about threesomes, and his lyrics very much reinforce those stereotypes.”

She added that bisexual women are only seen as valid “when they’re performing for the male gaze or when men can join in with threesomes”.

More: Bi-Pride UK, biphobia, bisexual stereotypes, Liam Payne, LP1, One Direction

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