Kevin Richardson and Brian Littrell have been Backstreet Boys bandmates for nearly three decades and cousins for even longer, but it looks like their bond is being tested. Richardson caught the attention of fans on January 13 when he tweeted an October Cosmopolitan essay headlined “I Lost a Friend to QAnon,” with the caption “Interesting read… 👀 ✌🏻 ❤️.” Richardson followed that tweet with another Cosmopolitan essay, from the day before, titled “The Unlikely Connection Between Wellness Influencers and the Pro-Trump Rioters,” which he called “Another interesting read… 👀 ✌🏻 ❤️.” While Richardson could’ve just been having a good time reading Cosmo, his tweets looked pretty pointed to fans who’d been following the Backstreet Boys recently. Just days before, on January 8, a Littrell tweet directed his fans to his account on Parler, the controversial app currently banned from the Apple and Google Play stores, and now offline after Amazon Web Services discontinued hosting it. Parler is a favorite platform of far-right figures, conspiracy theorists, and QAnon supporters, and has been taken off these platforms due to its lack of moderation and posts inciting violence.
Littrell’s tweet came the same night that President Donald Trump was banned from Twitter, “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” Littrell has been a vocal supporter of the president for years, even telling TMZ that he wanted the Backstreet Boys to perform at Trump’s inauguration. (Littrell later said “it didn’t work out” with the rest of the band, citing their Las Vegas residency.) There’s no clear evidence that Littrell has fallen further into far-right conspiracies, but Richardson’s tweets could be directed at his bandmate and cousin. (For his part, Richardson also spent the day of the Capitol riot and the following day retweeting reports about the riot and statements denouncing the violence.) Meanwhile, AJ just celebrated his birthday and is repping the Biden-Harris administration, Nick is having a baby, and Howie is barely on social media at all these days. Not everybody’s playing games with our hearts.