Liam Payne's Take on the Will Smith Oscars Slap Has the Internet in Stitches

One question: huh?

Elton John AIDS Foundation's 30th Annual Academy Awards Viewing Party - Inside
(Image credit: Getty/Michael Kovac)

So, the Oscars were eventful, etc.

While the whole world debates and hot-takes the Will Smith/Chris Rock slap, we have been blessed with the opinion of one Liam Payne on Sunday's events.

"Who?" I hear you ask. And I get it. We can't all be die-hard Directioners like me. Liam Payne was one fifth (subsequently one quarter) of boy band One Direction, and people are somewhat surprised he was invited to the Oscars in the first place. I mean, I'm not surprised when anyone remotely famous is invited to the Oscars, but you have to admit Rachel Zegler really should have gotten Payne's invitation.

Anyway, the point is, he was there, and he told "Good Morning Britain" exactly what he thought about the Men in Black actor slapping the comedian. For two minutes and 27 seconds. And the show's co-anchor, Richard Madeley, said he "wasn't sure" who Payne was.

OH, AND the singer, who was born in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England, spoke in an absolutely unplaceable accent throughout it all. Is it... Dutch? American? Irish? South African? I'm... in Payne over this whole situation.

I will spare you the full transcript, but here are some of the gems from the video:

  • "I believe whatever he felt that he did, he had the right to do. I also felt there were three losers in one fight."
  • "He didn't know, being Chris Rock. He didn't wanna do what he had to do, being Will Smith. And she did nothing, being Jada."
  • "There was a powerful thing for me, to sit and watch one of the world's best emoters we've seen speak from the heart."
  • "I had to leave my chair, I'll be honest with you. It cut me really deep."
  • "We're all very human, right?"

I will let the kind people of Twitter comment on my behalf.

"Trying to pinpoint Liam Payne's new accent," wrote one user alongside a clip from the song "Rotterdam (Or Anywhere)" by The Beautiful South. The lyrics go, "This could be Rotterdam or anywhere, Liverpool or Rome..."

"I enjoy this video so much. The strange American/Irish/Dutch accent. The two minutes of pure wired-guy-talks-about-meaning-of-life-in-smoking-area energy. The lack of explanation as to why they actually asked Liam Payne in the first place?? Amazing," wrote journalist Cerys Turner.

"Quietly the best piece of content surrounding the Will Smith incident so far: Liam Payne gushing like an LA wellness influencer about 'one of the world's greatest emoters', in a hybrid accent of totally inexplicable origin + managing to drop in that he sold out Madison Sq Garden," contributed writer Ciaran Varley.

"Damn Will Smith slapped Chris Rock so hard it changed Liam Payne’s accent," quipped someone else.

"crying at his accent, it’s like an Irish guy who’s lived in America for most of his life is pretending to be Liam Payne," tweeted journalist Andrew Gentry.

"In a way we are all Liam Payne, at a party we shouldn't have been invited to, doing a funny accent to try and distract from that fact," said writer Olivia Foster.

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And a last one for good measure: "i think we should start asking liam payne to give his thoughts on everything, in every accent other than his own, from now on"

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Today is one of those days when I actually love the internet.

Re: the accent, though, it should be noted that it's pretty common for people who spend a lot of time in other countries to start speaking differently. Harry Styles was accused of the same, as was Prince Harry. As was I. So.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.