Last month, Zayn Malik’s Fader cover story included the former One Direction member looking back on his boy-band days and ahead to his future as a solo artist. The interview found Malik explaining his decision to leave 1D as a musical one: “There was never any room for me to experiment creatively in the band,” Malik said. “If I would sing a hook or a verse slightly R&B, or slightly myself, it would always be recorded 50 times until there was a straight version that was pop, generic as fuck, so they could use that version.”
Simon Cowell, the X Factor maestro who has helped guide One Direction’s career after the group formed on the reality competition, calls Malik’s comments “rude” in a new interview.
“It is a bit rude to the people who wrote all the hits with them,” Cowell tells the U.K.’s The Mirror. “And to the other band members. I mean they all wrote a lot of the stuff.”
Cowell continues, “Life could have been a lot worse, right?”
To drive home his apathy for Malik, Cowell adds, “To be honest I don’t even think about it too much because as soon as he left we sorted him out with a label who really were enthusiastic about him and then my loyalty was back with the boys.”
There’s a reason you can’t spell “Cowell” without “ow.” Watch Malik’s amazing Frozen lip-synch here.