HBO’s THE IDOL has gotten a bit tarnished before it even airs. It all got started when the show got defined as ‘torture porn’ and got slammed for being a ‘toxic workplace’. It shows like this that got the letters H B O removed from the title of WBD’s new streaming site, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a good gig for those who gravitate to THE IDOL when it debuts on SUNDAY, JUNE 04 at 9:00 pm ET/PT.
The show, from Sam Levinson of EUPHORIA and Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye, could have debuted late in 2022 if it had not been for lengthy delays. Amy Seimetz, of She Dies Tomorrow, was set up as lead director of the work but was faced with unfinished scripts and clear control of her responsibilities. On unanimous source on set said, “I went into ‘The Idol’ thinking that this might be an interesting collaboration, but I left it pretty convinced that [Levinson] is not quite collaborative. It’s really frustrating seeing Amy doing her damn best to turn around some kind of product that she can be somewhat proud of to HBO . . . and then [for HBO] to turn around and have Sam get essentially a blank check to turn it into ‘Euphoria Season Three with pop stars’ is extremely, extremely frustrating.” The set was clearly disorganized with Levinson & Tesfaye absent most of the time.
Seimetz left the production after it was 80% complete presumedly because Tesfaye did not like her efforts. He said the show portrayed too much of a “female perspective” and placed more focus on Lily-Rose Depp’s character instead of his. An overhaul was issued and production pushed for months past its expected completion date. Seimetz left the production after it was 80% complete presumedly because Tesfaye did not like her efforts. He said the show portrayed too much of a “female perspective” and placed more focus on Lily-Rose Depp’s character instead of his. An overhaul was issued and production pushed for months past its expected completion date under Levinson’s helm. One crew member stated, “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.”
Due to all the backlash the stars were out to defend their work. HBO itself even got in on it. They released, “The creators and producers of ‘The Idol’ have been working hard to create one of HBO’s most exciting and provocative original programs. 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. We look forward to sharing ‘The Idol’ with audiences soon.”
We have been teased of its arrival for quite a while now, but that ‘soon’ is almost upon us. Whether or not THE IDOL tamed down its ‘torture porn’ vibe or not is doubtful because HBO is all-in on what Levinson delivers. Plus, even though HBO is standing behind the work and its creators it will be interesting to see how WBD’s Max promotes the work or, as the case may be, how it buries the work on the new streamer.