Anna Todd, author of popular One Direction fan-fiction series "After," is using her platform to reach out to fellow Directioners in the wake of Zayn Malik's departure from the band. The 25-year-old is calling on the mega-fan-base to put their own feelings aside and support his decision. The article, which appears on Cosmopolitan.com, was written in response to the outpouring of Twitter reactions to the news.
Moments after the 22-year-old released his official statement, the social media site was flooded with both negative and positive responses. Some Directioners supported Malik's decision, while others took things to the extreme. Amongst the sea of support and sadness were threats; some fans chose to attack Malik, his family and his girlfriend, Perrie Edwards, while others claimed they were going to harm themselves.
I just want to kill myself, why would you do this to us @zaynmalik ???
— i love you zayn (@17BLACKWH0RAN) March 25, 2015
— Mr. Harrison (@pljHarrison) March 25, 2015
Run up on perrie at a little mix concert like pic.twitter.com/xbTwX1Oabq
— jewel (@ziambabwe) March 25, 2015
Before long, Directioners had the hashtag, #Cut4Zayn trending. Todd asked that these messages stop, writing, "Guys, we know him and we know he would never purposely let anyone down. He did this for himself and his family." She continued to ask that Directioners remember what made them fall for Malik, and his four band mates, in the first place. The young author reiterated this message on Twitter, asking fellow fans to try, if only for a moment, to put themselves in his shoes.
We are sad and it's okay to be this way, but we can't start turning on Zayn, he's obviously having a really hard time right now.
— Anna Todd (@imaginator1dx) March 25, 2015
The speculation that Malik is struggling with something bigger than living life under public scrutiny stems from his exit from One Direction's current world tour. After completing shows in Australia, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong, the band released a statement saying he had flown home to the U.K. to recover from "stress." The band reportedly hoped he would be able to return to the tour by March 28, for the South African leg of their tour. That announcement was made March 19. One week later, Malik announced his official departure from the band as a whole. In a statement he apologized to fans, saying he simply wanted to live a more "normal" life. He assured fans that there was no love lost between him and the rest of the group, adding that he had "friends for life" in Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan.