According to a set source who talked to Page Six, Sam Levinson, the show’s creator and director, “ordered” The Weeknd to film a scene in which his character rapes Lily Rose-Depp’s character. The insider claims that Levinson altered a scene unexpectedly in the middle of filming a sex scene for the fourth episode of the show. The Weeknd allegedly “explicitly directed” Tedros to “strangle” Jocelyn before ejaculating inside of her after Levinson “explicitly directed” him to do so. Additionally, the scene’s non-consensual components were not included in the original draft. The segment was apparently entirely deleted from the program.
The source claims that Levinson was “near the monitor, chuckling and providing phrases to Abel’s character, like, “I own you.” While The Weeknd and Rose-Depp performed the scenario as directed, several of the other production workers there found it “extremely disturbing.” Mam Smith, the director of intimacy for the program, also declined to comment on the incident when contacted by Page Six. However, the source also asserts that Levinson “does not take issues of consent lightly” and “was committed to creating a safe, collaborative, and mutually respectful working environment on set.”
Surprise Rape Scene Latest “The Idol” Horror Story
Sam Levinson, Lily-Rose Depp and Abel ‘The Weeknd’ Tesfaye le 23 mai 2023 à Cannes. (Photo by Laurent KOFFEL/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
However, this is just the latest story from the set of The Idol, whose production is almost as infamous as the finished product. “It was, let’s just say, a shitshow,” one producer told Rolling Stone in a scathing investigation into the show’s creation. On the surface, it appeared that the show, looking to bank off the infamy and name recognition of Levinson, was rushed into production to fill the Sunday night HBO slot vacated by House of the Dragon. That led to shooting delays, multiple reshoots, and even massive script rewrites.
But the problems only go deeper. Original series director Amy Seimetz reportedly left 80% of the way through production. She claimed she felt forced out, with The Weeknd allegedly claiming that the show, for which he serves as co-creator, was leaning into too much of a “female perspective” with Seimetz at the helm. That led to Levinson taking over, scrapping everything Seimetz had done, and starting from scratch. Additionally, The Weeknd has been described as “egomaniacal” by on-set sources. All of this culminated in a show that has been panned by audiences and critics. The Idol will air its final episode on July 2. Furthermore, HBO is yet to officially cancel the show or greenlight a second season.