Two members of the UK boy band One Direction appear to be smoking a joint and making drug jokes in a widely disseminated video.
First posted Tuesday on the website of the British tabloid the Daily Mail, the nearly five-minute, edited video shows One Direction's Zayn Malik, 21, and Louis Tomlinson, 22, clowning in the backseat of an SUV, with Malik visible as Tomlinson shoots and narrates. "So here we are, leaving Peru, joint lit, 'appy days," Tomlinson says about 40 seconds in, referring to the band's April 27 concert at the Estadio Nacional in Lima.
Amid in-joking and much chirpy drug banter, he adds just after the minute mark, "I'm trying to blow [smoke] up to the camera." We then see smoke, followed by him singing, "Baby, look what you've done to me," followed by his adding delightedly, "Smokescreen, baby!" Bandmates Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Harry Styles are not in the vehicle.
Small amounts of cannabis used for immediate personal consumption, although not legal in Peru, are not punishable, Billboard reported.
One brand expert Wednesday suggested that the video may work in the band's favor.
"It's a good career move considering the sell-by stamp date" of boy bands, publicist Mark Borkowski, author of two books on the publicity industry, told the British newspaper The Independent. "Surprise, surprise . . . young pop stars smoke dope. It helps them with the credibility factor."
The band's representative said in a statement: "This matter is in the hands of our lawyers."