The Weeknd and ‘Euphoria’ Creator Sam Levinson’s Show ‘The Idol’ Accused of ‘Torture Porn’
The Idol, touted as HBO's next Euphoria and both co-created by and starring The Weeknd, is already making some seriously controversial waves before it's even hit the screen.
What Is The Idol About? Who Stars in The Idol?
According to IMDb, the upcoming HBO show is about "a self-help guru and leader of a modern-day cult [who] enters a complicated relationship with a rising pop idol."
The series stars The Weeknd, real name Abel Tesfaye, as well as Lily-Rose Depp, Blackpink member Jennie Kim, Troye Sivan, Suzanna Son, Dan Levy and more.
The Idol Controversy, Explained:
According to a Rolling Stone report, 13 sources recently revealed behind-the-scenes information about the making of the show that has shocked fans online.
According to the outlet, the show's original director, Amy Seimetz, abruptly exited the show in April 2022 after completing about 80 percent of the six-episode series.
Why Did Amy Seimetz Leave The Idol?
Apparently, the show underwent re-shoots and rewrites due to The Weeknd, who allegedly wanted the show to be more closely centered around his character.
He reportedly felt that the original production had too much of a "female perspective."
Sam Levinson, creator of HBO's smash hit Euphoria, stepped in at the helm after Seimetz's departure.
Once Levinson joined the project, he reportedly scrapped the work of the $54-75 million show to redo the entire project.
"It was, let's just say, a s--t show," one source told Rolling Stone.
Why Are People Criticizing Sam Levinson and The Weeknd?
Through Rolling Stone's interviews with cast and crew, fans have learned that Levinson and The Weeknd allegedly took The Idol in some disturbing directions.
According to the publication, many sources alleged that Levinson purposely upped the graphic nudity and sexual content to outdo Euphoria. One source even called it "Euphoria Season Three with pop stars."
"It went from satire to the thing it was satirizing," a source said.
Several sources claimed that Levinson turned what was once a story about a predatory industry figure into a "degrading" and "offensive" love story.
"It was like any rape fantasy that any toxic man would have in a show –– and then the woman comes back for more because it makes her music better. It was a show about a woman who was finding herself sexually, turned into a show about a man who gets to abuse this woman, and she loves it," a source alleged.
Warning: Graphic sexual descriptions below
Levinson also allegedly included "disturbing" violent scenes, including one in which The Weeknd's character "bashes in" Lily-Rose Depp's character's face. When she "asks to be beaten more," The Weeknd's character gets an erection.
Another alleged scene involves Lily-Rose Depp's pop star character having to "carry an egg in her vagina, and if she dropped or cracked the egg, [The Weeknd]'s character would refuse to 'rape' her."
"It was like sexual torture porn," a source said.
Now, Levinson and The Weeknd are facing backlash online in the wake of Rolling Stone's revelations about The Idol.
"Not even joking, Sam Levinson should never ever be allowed near a pen and paper ever again," one person shared on Twitter.
Another tweeted, "The Weeknd shifted The Idol from a cult show to a rape fantasy centering himself. With the help of fellow creep Sam Levinson. Seriously, just cancel this over-budget, over-written piece of garbage," while someone else called Levinson a "whole ass freak and pervert."
If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual abuse or violence, help is available through the RAINN website. To speak to someone on the phone, dial 1-800-656-4673.