On March 2, 2014, One Direction's Louis Tomlinson found himself in another Twitter spat when he criticized a husband and wife who objected to their children singing One Direction's "Live While We're Young" on a school choir in Chelsea, Mich.
According to the Chelsea Standard: "Parents Mike and Mary Stone filed an urgent appeal with the Chelsea School District School Board Thursday night to have a lyric from the band’s song 'Live While We’re Young' changed from Saturday’s Company C Showcase at Chelsea High School.
"The parents said the song violated the district’s policy on sexual innuendos for its use of the lyric 'tonight, let's get some,' which is repeated several times. The parents tried to get the lyric changed to 'tonight, let’s go,' but that was turned down by Choir Director Steve Hinz. The Stones' two kids, along with two other students, decided they did not want to be a part of the performance."
In response to the controversy, Tomlinson (who is 22) tweeted: "Dear Mr and Mrs Stone, I'm deeply saddened by your complaint to Chelsea High School regarding our lyrics... I hope the two of you 'get some' very soon :) #cryingparents"
But now, a spokesperson for Office Depot's anti-bullying campaign (which includes a partnership with One Direction) has stepped into the fray by publicly scolding Tomlinson for his sarcastic tweet, which the spokesperson was a "lapse of judgment" that "humiliated" the Stone family.
Office Depot spokesperson Brooks Gibbs told the Chelsea Standard: “My heart breaks because now this family has to endure an outright attack on their conservative stance. I personally am incredibly proud of the Stone family and I hope they will be resilient against the attacks they might receive from the student body. These kids did nothing wrong … they should’ve been applauded rather than humiliated in the way that Louis humiliated them."
Gibbs added, “This is very much out of character for Louis and the boys of One Direction. They, to my knowledge, have never been so harsh."
As previously reported, One Direction and Office Depot entered into a partnership in 2013 to sell One Direction merchandise, with a portion of the proceeds going to an anti-bullying campaign. One Direction is the world's biggest-selling act to emerge from "The X Factor."
One Direction and Tomlinson have not responded to Gibbs' criticism. Tomlinson has gotten into many Twitter arguments over the years (some of them profanity-laced rants), including arguments with One Direction fans, BBC Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw, "The X Factor" U.K. 2012 winner James Arthur and members of The Wanted.
In a 2013 Office Depot promotional video for the anti-bullying campaign, Tomlinson said: "I think, in a way, bullying might be easier with the likes of social networking. You will get some kids who are feisty and brave and they can stand up for themselves. And there are other people are quite timid and less confident. I think in that instance, it would be good for anyone, if they notices any kind of bullying to help someone else out.
"Every now and then, there can be one individual that you might see on Twitter who's just being really awful to a group of people. I think these people go on power trips and just want to have some kind of level of importance. You can use it in a positive manner to try and confront those [bullies]."