A couple weeks after Zayn Malik quit One Direction, reaction to this stunning news continues to pour in.
Group members themselves recently spoke out at length for the first time, telling Great Britain's The Sun that they are gutted by Malik's departure, but also "determined" to create great new music for their fans as a quartet.
Bill Maher, however? He had a slightly different take...
In a video posted to the YouTube page of Real Time With Bill Maher, the comedian joked about the hoopla surrounding Zayn’s decision by asking for the answer to a pair of questions:
- Which one in the band were you?
- And where were you during the Boston Marathon?"
Yes, Maher went there. He compared Malik to alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
As you might expect, One Direction fans didn’t love the fact that Maher brought up a connection between Malik and Tsarnaev, who is currently on trial for killing three people and injuring more than 260 others in April 2013.
But the two do look very much alike, both sporting mustaches and sideswept locks and simply having similar faces.
A fan in the United Kingdom has actually set up a petition on Change.org, calling for the Maher to apologize.
"This is not about making Bill Maher a scapegoat and before you disregard this thinking 1D fans are angry because of Zayn Malik, think again," the petition reads.
"This is about how islamophobia, racism and discrimination of ANY kind is wrong, shouldn’t be ignored and must end... This is completely unacceptable.
"Racism should not become normalized especially on NATIONAL TELEVISION. Bill Maher and whoever wrote the script, need to be severely disciplined and at least apologize to show that this type of behavior is NEVER ok.
"Millions watch his TV show meaning he has an influence on many people, the fact that people in the audience laughed is proof of his negative influence."
Do you think Bill Maher should apologize for his quip?
And do you blame Malik for leaving if he really did hate life on the road?