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The Idol defending

The cast and creator of The Idol have all been defending the upcoming HBO series

‘I think we’re about to have the biggest show of the summer’


Ever since The Idol premiered at Cannes Film Festival people have been uproar over the nature of the series, and the cast and creative crew have been quick to defend it as much as they can.

The Idol follows an aspiring pop star, played by Lily-Rose Depp, who forms a relationship with a self-help guru and head of a cult, played by The Weeknd.

The series has attracted controversy for its sexually explicit nature, with critics saying the main female character is degraded in many of the scenes. As a result of his backlash, those part of The Idol have been defending it, including the show’s creator, Sam Levinson.

The Idol defending

via HBO

During a press conference at Cannes Film Festival, Lily-Rose Depp began defending The Idol, and slammed accusations the set was “toxic”.

“It’s always sad and disheartening to see mean, false things said about somebody you care about,” she began. “It wasn’t reflective of my experience shooting the show.”

Sam Levinson chimed into the discourse and said: “We know that we’re making a show that is provocative. It isn’t lost on us. But I think it’s an odd one. When my wife read me the article, I looked at her and I said, ‘I think we’re about to have the biggest show of the summer.’ In terms of the specifics of what was in it, it just felt completely foreign to me and I know who I am.

“There’s two jobs in this business, there’s the work and there’s the managing of the persona and managing a persona is not interesting to me because it takes away the time and energy I would spend on the work. They are free to write whatever they want.”

— Variety (@Variety) May 23, 2023

The production of The Idol was met with reports of it being toxic, which has been denied on every occasion. In a statement to Variety, HBO said 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,” HBO added, denying claims of a toxic work environment.

Lily-Rose Depp has continuously been defending The Idol and Sam Levinson and on multiple occasions has defended him when met with accusations of toxicity.

“Sam is, for so many reasons, the best director I have ever worked with,” she told Variety. “Never have I felt more supported or respected in a creative space, my input and opinions more valued. Working with Sam is a true collaboration in every way – it matters to him, more than anything, not only what his actors think about the work, but how we feel performing it.

“He hires people whose work he esteems and has always created an environment in which I felt seen, heard and appreciated.”

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