- Liam Payne posted a joke TikTok about singer Zayn Malik’s departure from One Direction in 2015.
- “Are we absolutely sure what direction we’re going,” he lip-syncs in the viral video.
- In the caption, Payne said he hopes people can “see the funny side.”
It’s been more than half a decade since Zayn Malik, the artist known by the mononym Zayn, left One Direction, but former bandmate Liam Payne still has some new jokes about the incident.
Payne, whose TikTok account has 5.2 million followers, posted a video on Monday joking about Malik leaving the group in 2015. One Direction went on an indefinite hiatus later that year.
In a viral TikTok with over 4.7 million likes, Payne poked fun at the incident, saying in the video’s caption that he hoped viewers would be able to “see the funny side.”
“POV the meeting after zayn quit,” an on-screen caption on the video reads. “Forgot I had this in drafts.”
Payne lip-syncs along to a TikTok audio that says, “are we absolutely sure what direction we’re going.” The soundbite appears to be taken from a late-2010s viral video in which a professor yells the line in front of a classroom.
In 2015, Malik said in a statement posted on One Direction’s official Facebook page announcing his departure that he felt it was the “right time” to leave the group but that he had “four friends for life” in bandmates Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, and Niall Horan.
In subsequent years, fans speculated that the relationship between Malik and his bandmates had cooled. He told Billboard in 2017 that he didn’t speak much with the members anymore.
The band hasn’t officially reunited for a musical project since going on hiatus, and all of its members are currently pursuing their own solo careers. Malik, Payne, and Tomlinson have each had children as well.
This isn’t the first time that Payne has joked about Malik leaving One Direction. When presenting James Corden with the Man Of The Year award at Glamour’s Women Of The Year ceremony in 2017, Payne referenced Corden’s former teenage boy band, which had a slogan. Payne then joked that One Direction never had a slogan, but “if we had a slogan, Zayn might have stayed.”