Euphoria is getting deeper and deeper into the teen psyche with episode 3, which centered around high schooler Kat (Barbie Ferreira). Like her classmates, Kat is eager to grow up — fast. But unlike other girls, she's famous on the internet for her impressive collection of erotic fan fiction.
Now, for those unfamiliar, fan fiction, aka fanfic, describes a type of story written by fans that center on the private lives of celebrities — frequently their love lives. While anyone can write it and post it on Tumblr or Wattpad, it's not for all ages because of the sometimes erotic nature of the stories. For Kat, who started her rise to fanfic royalty in middle school after suffering her first heartbreak, there was a specific beat that called to her specifically: slashfic, featuring two members of One Direction. In the show, as Kat is writing the about the imagined love life between Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson, a cartoon version of the two singers appear and engage in sexual acts. It's shocking, weird, and extremely Euphoria.
During an interview with Refinery29 about her Euphoria character and her burgeoning story-telling talents, Ferreira revealed that this plotline hit close to home for her. The 22-year-old model laughingly confirmed that "unfortunately," she does know a lot about fan fiction. "I was also 14 once, liked One Direction, and was on Tumblr," she tells Refinery29.
"It hit close to home," she elaborated. "I think it’s cool because this is specific [to this generation]. Fan fiction gets millions of reads."
Not only is fan fiction a normal past-time for young people — in fact, a fanfic essay centered around Styles was turned into the movie and book, After, released earlier this year. But slashfic, the genre of fanfic that centers around two members of the same sex, is especially popular. Slashfic about the fake couple Larry Stomlinson? The most popular.
Just because Kat's knack for horny daydreams about One Direction is beloved on the show doesn't mean that real-life fans appreciated the shout-out. As Metro points out, a hoard of fans disapproved of the show mentioning Styles and Tomlinson by name. Tomlinson "categorically" denied approving the scene in a Twitter response to a fan. Styles has yet to acknowledge his brief cameo in the series (Refinery29 has reached out for comment), but Euphoria's Hunter Schafer, who plays Jules on the show, definitely appreciated how realistic the plotline felt.
I can categorically say that I was not contacted nor did I approve it.— Louis Tomlinson (@Louis_Tomlinson) July 1, 2019
"I also liked One Direction!" Schafer told Refinery29. "I just found my Tumblr [recently] and went through it, and I scrolled all the way down, and there were Harry Styles and Zayn Malik on my Tumblr feed. It was like, 14-year-old Hunter."
Of all the penises, sex, and drug use on the show, who knew some of the most intense backlash would come from an animated sex scene between two pop stars?
This story has been updated with additional information.