One Direction’s Liam Payne Under Fire After Duck Dynasty Tweet

Payne tweeted his "huge love" to the Robertson family and their "the family values"

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(L-R) Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne and Harry Styles of One Direction perform on NBC's "Today" at Rockefeller Plaza on Aug. 23, 2013 in New York, New York

One Direction‘s Liam Payne came under fire after he tweeted at Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson praising him for upholding “family values.”

“Huge love to you/your family huge respect for your business prosperities and the family values you still all behold,” the singer tweeted on Saturday afternoon. “Big fan.”

While it’s par for the Twitter course to have a musician tweet at a TV star, this interaction raised eyebrows and angered some fans as showing support for the embattled A & E TV show.

Duck Dynasty has been under fire after Willie Robertson’s father, Phil Robertson, was quoted in the January issue of GQ Magazine linking homosexuality to bestiality and suggesting that blacks were not unhappy in the segregated American South. After the interview was published, Phil stood by his comments, refusing to apologize and was subsequently suspended from the A & E show for nine days.

Reaction to Payne’s tweet was swift. Gay right advocates denounced the singer’s statement on the grounds that the compliment implied support for the Robertson family’s version of family values, as the notoriously rambunctious One Direction fans rushed to Payne’s defense claiming it was all a big misunderstanding. For those who are both supporters of gay rights and fans of the band, the tweet brought up complicated emotions.

One Direction superfan and YouTube/ Tumblr personality, Tyler Oakley, took to Twitter to react to his 1.84 million followers:

Payne, however, stood by his tweet, claiming that just because he likes the show, doesn’t mean that he necessarily agrees with all of their personal views:

Payne added: “Again i just like the show and i love when families stick together, i havent said i agree with all that theyve ever said.”   He noted that, “I just watched a show and I liked it as most people do.” Payne returned to Twitter later to further clarify his comments, vent his frustrations and remind the world that he is just a 20-year old in a boy band:

Willie Robertson tweeted his support back to Payne, “Thanks bro. Congrats to u boys as well. Y’all keep rockin, we’ll keep quackin. Stay strong in this nutty world.”

Duck Dynasty recently returned to A & E with a huge ratings drop.

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