Fans start #RespectHarry campaign after Harry Styles appears to be groped during performance

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One Direction fans have come together in support of Harry Styles after footage emerged of him appearing to be assaulted during a gig in Los Angeles. 

The hashtag #RespectHarry has gained traction since footage emerged on Sunday of Styles's crotch being pawed at by fans who were stood in the front row of a breast cancer awareness concert at the Hollywood Bowl on Saturday night. 

Styles fans were swift to share and decry the footage, accusing the anonymous perpetrator of "sexual assault" and calling LA fans' behaviour "vile" and "absolutely disgusting".

Styles is yet to comment publicly on his experience of the show, which took place separately to the US leg of his first solo tour since leaving One Direction.

The footage has, however, sparked debate among fans about appropriate behaviour towards the stars they idolise, with many pointing out that Styles is "human, not a sexual object".

Styles continues his tour in the UK this weekend.