Simon Cowell has criticized Zayn Malik for speaking ill of his time in One Direction, calling the singer "rude".
Zayn, who quit the boyband in March (15), told Fader magazine in an explosive interview in November (15) that there was no room for him to "experiment creatively" in the band, and branded their music "generic".
"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 f***, so they could use that version," he said.
"There was just a general conception that the management already had of what they want for the band, and I just wasn't convinced with what we were selling."
Now, The X Factor judge Simon has waded into the controversy, and scolded the singer for being rude about band members Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson.
The music mogul hopes Zayn will rethink his opinion, and "reflect" on his choice of words.
"I think once he has had a chance to reflect on everything he will probably reconsider what he's said because it was a very, very democratic process in the band," he tells British newspaper the Sunday Mirror.
"It is a bit rude to the people who wrote all the hits with them. And to the other band members. I mean they all wrote a lot of the stuff."
Simon revealed the band had no warning about Zayn's shock departure, but is proud of the way that they regrouped and continued without him.
"They had no warning. Not that they needed me but I wanted to show that I was there for them and that they could continue without him - and they did," he adds.
However, Simon did admit he hasn't given 22-year-old Zayn much thought since he quit the successful boyband: "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."