No ban on One Direction in PH despite marijuana report—immigration
MANILA, Philippines — Concert in the Philippines of British boy band One Direction will push through next year despite reports of a leaked video showing two of its members smoking what appeared to be marijuana.
Bureau of Immigration Spokesperson Elaine Tan in a phone interview said they cannot act based on media reports and clamors on social media to ban the group.
“If there is a request from the consulate and if there is a report from the consulate certifying that the video is true then we can begin the process to ban them here,” Tan said pointing out that they cannot ban a certain individual or group even if there is a request.
“We have to follow procedure,” she said.
Some angry fans reportedly destroyed their tickets due to a leaked video showing One Direction bandmates Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik smoking marijuana.
The British press has reported the worst case scenario for the band. The Daily Star said the band may be banned from travelling to the United States, similar to British chef star Nigella Lawson, who has been accused of being hooked on cocaine.
The same UK tabloid reported that critics have accused One Direction “of encouraging kids to take drugs after idols Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik puffed on a spliff in their limo.”
It quoted Lucy Dawe of charity Skunk Sense as saying, “This is utterly irresponsible when One Direction have an extremely young following and we know cannabis damages young brains.”
“The huge worry is that they’re in a position to be role models and they’re actually being extremely poor role models and pulling young people into drug use,” Dawe told the Star.
The report said some fans “have pledged to spark up their own spliffs in a bid to get ‘closer’ to their idols.”
The Star lifted these tweets from the band’s die-hard fans:
*“Directioner” Anthika tweeted: “Zayn smoking weed is hot. I wanna try weed one day…”
* “Pekta wrote: ‘I know that marijuana isn’t good for us specifically to us teenagers but DAMN I WANT TO TRY SMOKING WEED WITH THEM!’”
Meanwhile, The Daily Mail showed photos of boy band’s “downward direction” that highlighted “how the group’s squeaky clean image has changed alarmingly over past five years.”
In the Philippines, the band has a sold-out concert set in March, 2015 in Manila.
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