Crazy About One Direction

From Fanlore
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Title: Crazy About One Direction
Commentator: Daisy Asquith / Channel 4
Date(s): 15 August 2013
Medium: Film
Fandom: One Direction
External Links: Full Documentary on Vimeo
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Crazy About One Direction is a British documentary that aired in 2013 on Channel 4. It received backlash from the One Direction fandom, and the backlash was covered in the popular press at the time, as well as in journalistic and academic publications later on.

The documentary follows fans on One Directions’ 2013 UK tour and focuses on twenty-two girls in particular. Their ages range from thirteen to nineteen (Becky, at nineteen, is the oldest fan in the documentary). Interviews are conducted with these fans, predominantly in their bedrooms although footage of the girls waiting for the boys at concerts and their hotels is also included. The documentary opens with an introduction from the narrator, who outlines the three areas the documentary will examine: fans’ use of Twitter; Directioners’ loyalty to the band; and Larry Stylinson. The introduction ends with the question “What drives their obsession and why do so many girls love One Direction?”[1]

Fan Reactions and Alleged Suicides

Asserted to be "the most tweeted about documentary ever on television"[2], it quickly resulted in hundreds of thousands of tweets, many including the hashtags #thisisnotus, #channel4thisisnotus and #RIPLarryShippers. (#thisisnotus is a reference to One Direction: This Is Us, the Morgan Spurlock One Direction documentary released later that same month.) "SecondSync, who analyze the relationship between Twitter and television, recorded 368,000 tweets about the documentary, peaking at 6,141 tweets per minute as the program ended. The hashtags #thisisnotus and #channel4thisisnotus also generated 176,000 tweets within SecondSync’s monitoring window."[3]

One Direction fans who were featured in the documentary as well as the filmmaker and Channel 4 were harassed online.[4] Many Larry shippers reported being bullied following the documentary, and #RIPLarryShippers trended on twitter with claims of larries committing suicide. According to the filmmaker:

In the days after the broadcast, tweets were split between hate for Larry shippers, who had supposedly embarrassed the fandom by sharing their fantasy, and hate for the producers of the documentary for broadcasting it. There were thousands of bomb threats to Channel 4, death threats to me, and invitations to Larry shippers to Go kill yourself. Following #RIPLarryShippers in real time, I watched the number of reported Larry “suicides” creep up from 4 to 12, then to 19, to 28, and then 42 in a few hours. It was a huge relief to me to discover the concept “pseuicide,” in which an online avatar dies when a Twitter or Tumblr account is deleted, often in protest.[5]

ONTD readers on LiveJournal were unimpressed by the suicide claims. One commented, "Whenever there's something negative about the 1d fandom, mysterious tweets about how girls have killed themselves because of the negativity crop up."[6] A Daily Dot article pointed out that "One Direction fandom is no stranger to unsubstantiated suicide rumors" and identified an August 7 tweet as a likely source for the "14 suicides" claim.[7]

Although some people called the rumors out as false and attention-seeking[8][9] or argued that spreading fake suicide rumors only proved the documentary was right[10][11], it appears that many people did think the #RIPLarryShippers suicide rumors were genuine[12]. #RIPLarryShippers was covered by news media.[13][14] Even band member Liam Payne heard the rumors and tweeted, "Really hope this isn't true".[15] Two years later some fans on twitter still appeared to believe that the rumors were true.[16][17]

The day after the documentary aired, Liam Payne sent a series of tweets addressing 1D fans:

Just so all of you know we love you guys and we know how dedicated you are and tbh we can't believe it that you gus spend all you time on us [18]

We couldn't give a fuck what any documentary says there dramatised for entertainment and full of bullshit anyway we all know... [19]

... How hard you work for us and see it everyday at our shows, Let's all take a step back and think about what we/you have all achieved...[20]

You should be proud [21]

The filmmaker Daisy Asquith authored a chapter in Seeing Fans in order to "conduct a reflexive postmortem on this fandom crisis of my own causing."[5] Notably, she asserts that some fan reactions may have been due to internalized shame, that she meant Crazy About One Direction to have an "affectionate humorous tone", that there was pressure from the network to place more emphasis on extreme fan behaviors, and that her choice of title ("I Heart One Direction") was changed by Channel 4 on the very last day of the edit to "Crazy About One Direction". Asquith also discusses documentary filmmaker ethics and fandom as performative, and notes that some of the fans criticizing the film hadn't watched it and that the subjects of the documentary were not the ones who objected to it.

Further Reading/Meta


  1. ^ Jones, B. (2016). "I Will Throw You Off Your Ship and You Will Drown and Die": Death Threats, Intrafrandom Hate, and the Performance of Fangirling. In L. Bennett & P. Booth (Eds.), Seeing Fans: Representations of Fandom in Media and Popular Culture (Ch 5, pp. 53-65). Bloomsbury Academic & Professional.
  2. ^ Vimeo - Crazy About One Direction, Archived version (Accessed 10 Sep 2019)
  3. ^ Jones, B. (2016)
  4. ^ Director defends Channel 4 One Direction documentary - BBC Newsbeat, Archived version (Accessed 10 Sep 2019)
  5. ^ a b Asquith, D. (2016). Crazy About One Direction: Whose Shame Is It Anyway?. In L. Bennett & P. Booth (Eds.), Seeing Fans: Representations of Fandom in Media and Popular Culture (Ch 7, pp. 79-88). Bloomsbury Academic & Professional.
  6. ^ comment on "Crazy About One Direction Documentary - Twitter meltdown follows", Archived version, comment by aquaecolore in ohnotheydidnt, 16 August 2013. (Accessed 15 January 2023.)
  7. ^ Suicide rumors spread after documentary about One Direction fandom, Archived version by Gavia Baker-Whitelaw, The Daily Dot, 16 August 2013.
  8. ^ directioners just want a fucking attention. so don't buy their #RIPLarryShippers shit, Archived version, tweet by beliebeonkaty, 15 August 2013.
  9. ^ Twitter worries me when teenagers are allowed to fake suicides in order to make a fandom pay attention #riplarryshippers, Archived version, tweet by DorsetGirly, Aug 16, 2013.
  10. ^ "Im not crazy or obsessed. Ill just lie about suicide to get the boys attention!"-fans (obviously not crazy) #RIPLarryShippers #sarcasm, tweet by HeatherNekole, 16 August 2013.
  11. ^ There have been no suicide reports, so #RIPLarryShippers seems to be just a trend created for attention. This is why people call us crazy., Archived version, tweet by saylorsaturn, 16 August 2013.
  12. ^ "It’s been like a week and people are still dead set convinced that 42-100 people killed themselves in a day over 1 Direction and nobody in the media has noticed it." tumblr post, Archived version, by kaputalism, 23 Aug 2013.
  13. ^ #RIPLarryShippers Trends On Twitter After 'Crazy About One Direction' Documentary Prompts Rumours Of Fan Suicides, Archived version, The Huffington Post, August 16, 2013.
  14. ^ The Internet Is Mourning 42 Suicidal, Potentially Non-Existent One Direction Fans, Archived version, The Atlantic archive for The Wire, 16 August 2013.
  15. ^ tweet by LiamPayne, Archived version, 16 August 2013.
  16. ^ Okay, the #RIPLarryShippers thing isn't funny. 42 people committed suicide because some TV show or whatever was mocking Larry. It's not ~, Archived version, tweet by parisstan13, 9 March 2015.
  17. ^ Today is the two year anniversary of when those Larry shippers committed suicide due to the Channel 8 documentary #riplarryshippers ❤️, Archived version, tweet by theavocadochick, 15 August 2015.
  18. ^ tweet by LiamPayne, Archived version, 16 August 2013.
  19. ^ tweet by LiamPayne, Archived version, 16 August 2013.
  20. ^ tweet by LiamPayne, Archived version, 16 August 2013.
  21. ^ tweet by LiamPayne, Archived version, 16 August 2013.