Being a pop star has its dark side.
On Monday, HBO dropped the new teaser “The Idol”, the controversial series from “Euphoria” creator Sam Levinson and The Weeknd.
“After a nervous breakdown derailed Jocelyn’s (Lily-Rose Depp) last tour, she’s determined to claim her rightful status as the greatest and sexiest pop star in America,” the official description reads. “Her passions are reignited by Tedros (The Weeknd), a nightclub impresario with a sordid past. Will her romantic awakening take her to glorious new heights or the deepest and darkest depths of her soul?”
The show, which has been in the works for some time, recently came under fire after a Rolling Stone article reported the production had gone “wildly, disgustingly off the rails.”
Among the many claims in the article was that the production had been delayed when Levinson took over directing duties from original director Amy Seimetz, “scrapping the nearly-finished $54-75 million project to rewrite and reshoot the entire thing.”
Anonymous members of the cast and crew also told Rolling Stone that after Levinson took over, the amount of disturbing sexual content and nudity in the show increased.
HBO disputed the report, saying in a statement, “The initial approach on the show and production of the early episodes, unfortunately, did not meet HBO standards so we chose to make a change. Throughout the process, the creative team has been committed to creating a safe, collaborative and mutually respectful working environment, and last year, the team made creative changes they felt were in the best interest of both the production and the cast and crew.”
After the story was published, The Weeknd responded with a tweet featuring a clip from the show in which the characters denigrate Rolling Stone.
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) March 1, 2023
The show also stars Dan Levy, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Eli Roth, Hari Nef, Jane Adams, Jennie Ruby Jane, Mike Dean, Moses Sumney, Rachel Sennott, Ramsey, Suzanna Son and Hank Azaria.
“The Idol” premieres June 4.