Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Capitol Records UK/Columbia
'Watermelon Sugar' singer Harry's cover shot attracted the ire of right-wing commentator Candance Owens last month.
Owens tweeted at the time: "bring back manly men", adding: "There is no society that can survive without strong men. The East knows this. In the west, the steady feminization of our men at the same time that Marxism is being taught to our children is not a coincidence.
"It is an outright attack."
After weeks of silence, Harry this month addressed the comment with an Insta post of himself wearing a frilled shirt and eating a banana - along with the caption: "Bring back manly men."
"He’s not someone to cause controversy"
'Strip That Down' singer Liam has now addressed the row in an interview with Roman Kemp on Capital FM.
Asked if Harry was on the 'naughty or nice' Christmas list, Liam replied: "Oh, nice! Nice, nice, nice!"
The 27-year-old continued: "[...] He's never really lost himself, even in spite of everything. After the band we didn't speak for a long time actually and then I remember seeing him, it was actually at a Jingle Bell Ball, backstage for the first time in a long time.
View this post on Instagram
"He’s still the same guy he was when we left each other in that dressing room as the band kind of stopped for a little bit."
On the banana-eating pic, Liam said: "Oh I thought it was great! I think he’s enjoying himself and he’s free to do as he wishes. And you know, I just think that people don’t need to be so bothered about stuff.
"There’s been a lot more stuff going on this year than whether or not he’s wearing the right clothes in someone else’s mind. Just let him go on with it, he’s enjoying himself."