The Weeknd Calls Rolling Stone “Irrelevant” After The Idol Report

The Weeknd has responded to a brand new Rolling Stone report about his upcoming HBO collection The Idol, which particulars co-creator (and Euphoria head) Sam Levinson out of the blue taking artistic management and fully derailing the collection’ message and hyper-sexualizing its characters. Reasonably than listening to the suggestions, nonetheless, the artist tweeted the publication a video from the collection itself, through which his character calls Rolling Stone “irrelevant.”

“Did we upset you?” The Weeknd (born Abel Tesfaye) tweeted, as if the publication cooked up the report in response to the character’s criticism. In actuality, the piece paints Tesfaye and Levinson as un-collaborative creators and poor leaders at finest, and shadowy, predatory figures at worst.

The Idol stars Lily-Rose Depp as Jocelyn, a rising pop star who falls into an advanced relationship with Tedros (Tesfaye), the proprietor of an LA nightclub who doubles a cult chief. Based on Rolling Stone’s sources, the present was meant to be a satire of the trade and observe Depp’s character as she features her independence in a world that hinges on abuse. Amy Seimetz (The Girlfriend) was on board because the director, however final yr she out of the blue exited the challenge, when 80 p.c of the six-episode season was reportedly full.

After Seimetz’s exit, Levinson took artistic management, reportedly utilizing his star energy because the creator of Euphoria to fully rewrite and reshoot the collection. Tesfaye allegedly felt The Idol was taking over an excessive amount of of a “feminine perspective,” and Levinson subsequently overhauled the story by specializing in his love story with Jocelyn — by growing the collection’ variety of degrading intercourse scenes and decreasing Jocelyn’s arc towards independence.

Even earlier than Levinson took over, crew members recalled a chaotic set. Scripts weren’t accomplished whereas Seimetz was directing, and Seimetz herself labored on writing the season finale throughout capturing. Sources describe quite a few script modifications and recall listening to on the final minute that tales have been altering and being eliminated. Nonetheless, Levinson spent tens of millions of {dollars} (the precise quantity is unknown) reshooting the collection, reworking it from a feminist story into what one crew member described as “sexual torture porn.”

“What I signed up for was a darkish satire of fame and the celebrity mannequin within the twenty first century,” one manufacturing member stated. “The issues that we topic our expertise and stars to, the forces that put individuals within the highlight and the way that may be manipulated within the post-Trump world.” As an alternative “It went from satire to the factor it was satirizing.”

It’s unknown when The Idol will lastly premiere, and what precisely will seem within the present when it does. Crew members described disturbing scenes in varied scripts that have been by no means truly shot, and say scenes have been reshot so many instances that any mixture of takes may seem within the official present. After being ordered to collection in November 2021, HBO hoped The Idol would premiere in 2022, however now solely teases this system as dropping “later this yr.”

Each HBO and Depp have additionally addressed the Rolling Stone report. “The creators and producers of The Idol have been working arduous to create one in all HBO’s most enjoyable and provocative authentic packages,” HBO stated. “The preliminary method on the present and manufacturing of the early episodes, sadly, didn’t meet HBO requirements so we selected to make a change. All through the method, the artistic group has been dedicated to making a secure, collaborative, and mutually respectful working atmosphere, and final yr, the group made artistic modifications they felt have been in the perfect curiosity of each the manufacturing and the forged and crew. We stay up for sharing The Idol with audiences quickly.”

Depp, in the meantime, stated Levinson “is, for thus many causes, the perfect director I’ve ever labored with. By no means have I felt extra supported or revered in a artistic area, my enter and opinions extra valued. Working with Sam is a real collaboration in each approach—it issues to him, greater than something, not solely what his actors take into consideration the work, however how we really feel performing it. He hires individuals whose work he esteems and has all the time created an atmosphere through which I felt seen, heard, and appreciated.”

Learn Rolling Stone’s full report on the chaotic The Idol set here, and see The Weeknd’s response to the story under.