The Weeknd hits back at damning Rolling Stone expose on The Idol – and fans are less than impressed

The Weeknd slammed by fans for response to The Idol allegations. (HBO_@TheWeeknd_Twitter_Getty)

Abel Tesfaye – aka The Weeknd – has been slammed by fans after his “extremely disappointing” response to an expose on the “toxic” set of his new show The Idol.

Co-created by The Weeknd, Euphoria‘s Sam Levinson and Reza Fahim, the upcoming HBO series stars Lily Rose-Depp as rising pop idol Jocelyn.

Described as “the sleaziest love story in all of Hollywood”, the show has Jocelyn meeting modern-day cult leader Tedros (The Weeknd). They enter into a racy love affair that causes everything to fall apart.

The series promises a star-studded cast, including Schitt’s Creek‘s Dan Levy, Troye Sivan, Hank Azaria, famous for voicing characters in The Simpsons, and the late Anne Heche. However, the production has been mired in controversy from its earliest days, with Deadline reporting in April that director Amy Seimetz left the show amid a creative overhaul.

And now, a Rolling Stone investigation, where the magazine spoke to 13 people involved in the production, seems to reveal that issues run much deeper, with claims that it’s a “s**t-show”.

The damning report claims that, after replacing Seimetz, Levinson scrapped the almost complete project to reshoot and rewrite the majority of the series – with the aim of “dialling up the disturbing sexual content”, beyond that even of Euphoria.

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Allegedly, The Weeknd also raised grievances that it leant too much into the “feminist lens”.

Regarding Levinson’s version of the series, one production member claims that the relationship dynamic set up between Jocelyn and Tedros “was like any rape fantasy that any toxic man would have in the show – then the woman comes back for more because it makes her music better”.

The Weeknd did not comment, instead posting a clip from the show in which Jocelyn and Tedros call Rolling Stone “irrelevant after rejecting the idea of Jocelyn being their next cover star. The post is captioned: “Rolling Stone, did we upset you?”

Fans have called out the inappropriate and petty response to the serious complaints made in the original article.

“Rolling Stone probably don’t care, but the millions of fans reading the direction the show went definitely are very disappointed of you and your reaction,” one person wrote.

Another said: “This goofy clip as a response to serious accusations is simply so bizarre and wrong.”

And a third offered: “Now me personally, I would not be glib about a report that a show I helped create glorifies rape and tossed out a woman director for portraying ‘too much of a female perspective’.”

There is currently no release date for The Idol.