One Direction Asked To Take Drug Test Before Philippines Concert; Fans Protest
An anti-drug group in the Philippines is demanding One Direction undergo drug tests before their upcoming concerts in Manila.
The group is scheduled to perform back-to-back shows at the SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds on March 21 and 22 as part of the “On The Road Again” tour. But the organization Laban ng Pamilyang Pilipino is asking the Philippine government’s Bureau of Immigration to force the band members to be tested for drugs upon entering the country. One of the group’s advocates says, “This is for the welfare of their fans, mostly youth.”
The demand is tied to last year’s leaked video showing Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson smoking what was believed to be weed. Laban ng Pamilyang Pilipino is using a screengrab of Malik smoking up to promote its cause, with the slogan, “No drug test, no entry!” (See below.) In order for the tests to actually happen, the organization has to submit a formal request to the immigration bureau. The bureau’s commissioner is quoted as saying, “If given enough information, we can actually prevent these drug users from entering the country.”
The unexpected stipulation, which comes a few months after Matt Lauer was slammed for asking One Direction about supposed drug rumors surrounding Malik, is not sitting well with fans. Directioners made “#StopTheDRUGTESTfor1DPH” a trending topic Thursday morning, both worldwide and in the United States. “IM NOT FROM THE PHILLIPINES BUT FANS WAITED SO LONG TO SEE THE BOYS DOESNT THE GOVERNMENT HAVE ANYTHING BETTER TO DO,” complained one fan. Others have pointed out that One Direction participated in the country’s post-Haiyan/Yolanda telethon for typhoon relief, and had urged their fans on social media to make donations to the cause. “THE GOVT ARE FORGETTING THAT THESE BOYS USED THEIR IMAGE TO HELP US OUT WHEN WE NEEDED IT,” tweeted a Filipino Directioner.
One Direction performed in Singapore on Wednesday, and are headed to Thailand and Hong Kong before the Philippines dates. Gossip Cop has reached out to a rep for the band to find out if the concerts are in jeopardy.