Sam Levinson Allegedly Transformed HBO’s The Idol into a “rape fantasy.”


Euphoria’s creator, Sam Levinson, has come under fire for alleged misconduct on the set of his next HBO series titled “The Idol.” According to a Rolling Stone article, the new show has become a “shitshow,” featuring “torture porn” and significant amounts of female objectification.

Further, the news outlet states that Levinson has transformed The Idol, a gritty drama meant to satirize Hollywood’s exploitation and cultism, into the exact kind of culture it set out to criticize. According to insiders, The Idol, much like Euphoria, has replaced constructive storytelling with sleek visuals and shock factor.

However, this is not the first time Levinson has come under fire for oversexualizing his female stars. Euphoria star Sydney Sweeney admitted she’s had to request that Levinson tone down unnecessary nudity, but says the director always addressed her concerns.

The development process for The Idol has been rocky, to say the least. Last April, HBO announced that director Amy Seimetz (The Girlfriend Experience) had exited the project with approximately 80 percent of the six-episode series finished. What’s more, HBO further confirmed that The Idol would be undergoing a major creative overhaul as well as adjusting its cast and crew.

However, beyond this announcement, there was little follow-up explanation for the shakeup, that is, aside reports that the show’s co-creator, Tesfaye (The Weekend), felt the show was leaning too much into a “female perspective.”

Four sources who spoke to Rolling Stone said that once Levinson took over as director, he abandoned Seimetz’s approach to the story. Choosing instead to incorporate a hollow plot that focused less on a troubled starlet falling victim to a predatory industry figure and fighting to reclaim her own agency and more on a degrading love story.

One production member explains Levinson’s version as “any rape fantasy that any toxic man would have in the show—and then the woman comes back for more because it makes her music better.”

However, Lily Rose Depp called Levinson “the best director” she’s ever worked with, while speaking on the allegations. Similarly, HBO, in a statement to Rolling Stone, stated that “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.” They further added that “The Idol” wasn’t up to their standards and that they’re happy with where Levinson’s taken it so far.

On his part, The Weekend took a jab at Rolling Stone on Instagram by posting an unseen clip from “The Idol,” where he and Depp’s character call the magazine irrelevant during a scene with Levy.

There is currently no set release date for The Idol. However, it was initially supposed to debut in the fall of 2022, following the finale of House of The Dragon, but this was later rescheduled.


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