The Project is facing social media backlash after botching an interview with global superstar musician Louis Tomlinson by asking the One Direction singer a series of daft questions which made him visibly uncomfortable.
It started off friendly, but strange.
Gold Logie winner Waleed Ally pushed his journalistic prowess to the very limits by probing the 30-year-old singer’s thoughts on the weather.
Yes, Louis agreed, it was fairly hot in London, but in Sydney it was cold.
“Yeah man, yeah, it’s crazy, it’s crazy,” mumbled a very polite and patient Louis in what is literally the only response one can give to that water cooler question.
But the complexity of hemispheric weather did not entertain Channel Ten’s staff for long with questioning eventually taking a darker turn.
The panel of hard-hitting journalists now had their sights set on a scandal.
“Louis there has been a bit of 1D beef recently thanks to Liam (Payne) who has been speaking out about the band a little bit,” said failed comedian Peter Helliar.
“When you look back on your experience with the band, how do you feel about those days?”
Louis snapped back “oh so the fishing’s begun already, yeah I see what you’re doing” before composing himself and giving a genuinely thoughtful response about how he personally enjoyed his days in the band.
That should have been the end of the matter. Louis is a person with an incredibly fascinating story who has millions of fans all over the world.
If you had access to him, as a journalist, wouldn’t you have a million better things to ask than details about a supposed feud with a band member?
No, instead, host Carrie Bickmore turned the conversation back to the media’s interest in the alleged scandal.
The mind boggles.
This went on for a bit until Waleed Ally jumped back into the mix to ask if Louis was jealous a different band member, Harry Styles, had an entire Texas university course dedicated to him.
A bewildered Louis was barely keeping his cool at this point, and the audience was equally incensed.
The Project posted the segment to Twitter and fans were unimpressed.
“I know it’s hard to make a five minute interview very personal but what about focusing more on his personal journey or the festivals, the world tour so far (kind of – what was your best memory) or if he has any plans after his world tour,” one fan wrote.
“Some questions were really unnecessary.”
Other fans said the hosts seemed unprepared for the interview.
“Honestly, what were the hosts even thinking? They didn’t do any prep before the interview did they?” the fan wrote.
“They had no clue about what’s Louis up to… FYI Louis sold out his second AFHF in less than 24 hours and is headlining upcoming summer festivals which was his dream since he was young.”
And some fans were more pointed in their analysis.
“The interviewers (specifically the dudes) sort of sucked a lot, but Louis handled the inane questions with intelligence, grace and humor (his wit was perhaps the only bright spot in this interview).
“Proud of him for that.”
The verdict was clear, the TV hosts were vacuous and self-serving.
But in reality, The Project committed the worst sin in television.