Django updating username results in unusable password. How to prevent this?

I am using code to update the user details and whilst the values are updating I have noticed that when I update the username, which is an email address, the password is set to an unusable password, as if set_unusable_password() were used. If I don't update the username but change the first_name and last_name everything is fine. Why? And how can I stop this behaviour?

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