The Idol divides fans as the queer yet controversial series gets release date and edgy new trailer

Lily Rose Depp and The Weeknd star in new trailer for HBO's The Idol.

A new full-length trailer for HBO’s queer and controversial new show The Idol has finally dropped, alongside the news that a release date has finally been set for Sunday, 4 June.

In a call to arms to LGBTQ+ people everywhere, the new trailer opens with Britney Spears’ notorious 2007 comeback single “Gimme More”, with Lily Rose Depp and Troye Sivan featuring in the first two shots.

Depp’s character, troubled popstar Jocelyn, is seen smoking on a sofa as a photographer takes shots, while Troye Sivan’s character questions when the world last had a “truly-f*****g-nasty pop girl“.

Throughout the rest of the trailer, fans get a glimpse of Jocelyn grappling with newfound pop fame as she appears to head down a rocky road of drink and drugs. If it all feels a bit 2000s-pop-star-meltdown, that’s probably because it is.

Jocelyn also appears to be locked in the grip of modern-day sex cult leader Tedros, played by The Weeknd singer Abel Tesfaye, who co-created the series.

Alongside The Weeknd in the co-creators’ chair is Euphoria’s Sam Levinson, who has previously promised that The Idol will be “the sleaziest love story in all of Hollywood,” much to the delight – and concern – of fans.

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Earlier this year, the series came under fire after a Rolling Stone magazine expose printed claims that the series was a “sh*t show“, with 13 people involved in the show’s production blasting it for “disturbing sexual content” that exceeds even that seen on Euphoria.

According to the insiders, the original series was scrapped and re-written in its entirety by Levinson, after director Amy Seimetz left the show as a director last year.

One member of production on the series who spoke to Rolling Stone said that the dynamic between Tedros and Jocelyn had become “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”.

There were also claims that The Weeknd wasn’t a fan of the original version of the show, as it focused too much on the “feminist lens”.

With a queer cast list that includes Schitt’s Creek star Dan Levy, the late, great Anne Heche and trans Barbie star Harri Nef, The Idol remains a beacon of queer talent, but the controversy that surrounds it means fan reaction to the new trailer is very much divided.

“I gotta give them their tens, this trailer ate,” wrote one person, while another said: “Wasn’t this one described as a ‘rape fantasy’?”

“I wanted to be like you guys and be like ‘booo’ but unfortunately, I will be seated and I will enjoy it,” commented a third.

Others are divided on the use of a remixed Britney song in the trailer, with some demanding its immediate release, and others questioning whether its inclusion is appropriate given Spear’s well-documented mental health struggles and legal battles while in the industry.

“This ain’t it,” one person said. “Using Britney Spears’ classic on a show about a woman who is enjoying getting sexually and mentally abused and used by men in the music industry, while damn knowing her history?”

The Idol lands airs HBO and will be available to stream on Max on Sunday, 4 June.