'SNL': Harry Styles Takes Jab at One Direction Bandmate Zayn Malik in Opening Monologue

Harry Styles hosted and served as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live this week, and his opening monologue featured references to his time in boy band One Direction. One joke in particular raised eyebrows, as Styles tossed shade at Zayn Malik, his former bandmate who left the group in 2016. The riff began when he teased as if he former bandmates might be in the studio, but they were not.

"I don't know if you've heard or not, but I'm not in boy band anymore. I'm in a man band now. I was in a band called One Direction. How crazy would it be if they were here tonight?" Styles said before pausing. "Well, they're not here."

He stretched the joke out more saying "Wouldn't it be crazy if they were?" before adding, "They're not."

He then went on to list out his bandmates name with one notable absence: Malik. While he was fine name-dropping Niall Horan, Leam Payne and Louis Tomlinson, he said the name of Beatles drummer Ringo Starr instead of Malik.

"I love those guys. They're my brothers, Niall, Liam, Louis and, uh, Ringo. Yeah, that's it," Styles said, adding, "I'm just so grateful Simon Cowell grew us in those test tubes."

One Direction fans were split on the moment. Some were absolutely furious Styles made a joke at Malik's expense, but others thought it was all in good fun. Others pointed out it could be a reference to Malik leaving One Direction first, just as Starr did as the Beatles were disbanding.

"Imagine if harry styles could stop being salty over the fact that zayn left before he got the chance to," one One Direction fan wrote.

"oh my god snl literally made the zayn joke because he left first. THATS IT," another wrote. "y'all acting like harry wrote the script zayn is doing just fine."

A third fan wrote, "Some of y'all are so sensitive. Harry obviously still loves Zayn despite the fact they don't talk anymore. He meant the whole thing to be a harmless joke, if he did the same to Louis none of y'all would be pressed about it cause most of y'all seem to not actually like Louis. So why be pressed that he made a harmless joke about Zayn? And before any of you come for me and say the only person here who's pressed is me, I'm not. I'm stating the fact that y'all get sensitive and mad over the smallest things."

Malik has not responded to the joke as of press time.

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