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Bill Maher

One Direction fans are at war with this US TV host over a 'racist' Zayn Malik joke

Directioners have started the hashtag #racismisNOTajoke in response to Bill Maher’s controversial joke.

onedirection Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube / YouTube

A FEW WEEKS ago, comedian Bill Maher got himself into trouble with One Direction fans when he likened Zayn Malik to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the man responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing.

Speaking about Malik’s departure from the band, Maher joked:

Just tell me two things, Zayn. Which one in the band were you? And where were you during the Boston Marathon?

While the two do share a striking resemblance, the joke was not received warmly by Directioners, many of whom perceived it as poking fun at Malik’s religion. (Malik is a Muslim.)

On Friday night, Bill Maher half apologised for the remark in a segment called Explaining Jokes to Idiots.

Real Time with Bill Maher / YouTube

After dissecting the joke, Maher explained that the joke was simply that the two looked alike and was not a comment on Malik’s religion.

It turns out that Zayn Malik is a Muslim, but neither I nor anyone on our staff knew that. How could we? The whole joke is that I don’t know the f*** he is.

Maher’s apology didn’t endear him to One Direction fans, however, and within hours #racismisNOTajoke was trending.

Many viewed his apology as condescending.

In true tween fashion, some fans advised Maher to get over himself.

It’s basically an all out war now.

Incidentally, this is not the first time that Maher has been accused of being Islamaphobic — last October, Ben Affleck had a heated discussion with the host and accused him of racial stereotyping.

Silent Jay wasn’t on Gogglebox tonight and everyone is feeling bereft >

Twitter ripped the piss out of Gwyneth Paltrow for her ‘budget’ grocery shop >

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