Simon Cowell Named His 1 One Direction Regret, And People Aren’t Happy

"Simon Cowell saw those boys as walking money bags and nothing more,"
NBC via Getty Images

Simon Cowell is facing a backlash for comments he made during his appearance on Steven Bartlett’s Diary Of A CEO podcast.

During the podcast interview, the talent show mogul spoke about his career, grief, and whether he thought boyband One Direction would ever reunite, after the group announced a hiatus back in 2016.

Reflecting on his time as the head of One Direction’s label, Simon said he’d told the five-piece: “Our goal is for you to have enough hits that if you ever reform, you can do stadium tours.”

He added that for this to happen, they’d need around 10 hit singles, but admitted to the host that the group were unlikely to reunite at this point.

Simon then said: “One thing I regret is I should have owned the [band] name”, adding that the band actually own the name.”

He explained: “I could have made an animation or whatever, but when you give an artist the name, it’s not yours, and that’s my only regret.”

“If you’re listening, I’ll buy it back from you,” the Britain’s Got Talent judge then joked.

One Direction pictured in 2013
One Direction pictured in 2013
David Livingston via Getty Images

Alluding to Zayn Malik’s exit from the band in 2015, Simon said: “If one of the members for whatever reason, say they don’t want to tour, it can stop the others touring. So if it was me that owned the name, it wouldn’t be a problem.”

These comments haven’t gone down well with fans of the band, who are accusing Simon of still wanting to profit from the band all of these years later...

Zayn Malik and Liam Payne had both discussed the impact that being in One Direction had on their mental health and wellbeing.

Liam actually also featured on the Diary Of A CEO podcast in 2021, and said: “The day the band ended, I was like, ‘thank the Lord for that’. And I know a lot of people are gonna be mad at me for saying that, but I needed to stop or it would kill me.”

Meanwhile, Zayn left the band back in 2015, citing stress as his main motivator for his departure. The band have made no indication that they’ll be reuniting, particularly since the rest of the group are still experiencing varying levels of solo success.

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