The Idol: Release date speculation, cast including The Weeknd and HBO Max series controversy explained

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New HBO Max series The Idol has sparked controversy in the past few days following an article written by Rolling Stone

Upcoming HBO Max series The Idol has found itself in hot water in recent days following an article written by Rolling Stone. The new series, starring popstar The Weeknd and actress Lily Rose Depp, has been directed by Euphoria director Sam Levinson.

On March 1, Rolling Stone published an article which alleges The Idol had gone "wildly, disgustingly off the rails". The in-depth look at the production of the series saw the publication talk to 13 sources who claimed The Idol had been subject to delays and rewrites.

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The Idol is said to tell the story of a young pop-star called Jocelyn (played by Lily-Rose Depp), who experiences a nervous breakdown, causing her tour to be cancelled.

After the tour is cancelled, Jocelyn attempts to reclaim her title as the ultimate pop icon in America whilst beginning a complicated relationship with Tedros (The Weeknd), a self-help guru.

But what is the controversy surrounding The Idol and is there a series release date? Here’s everything you need to know.

The Idol controversy explained

On March 1, Rolling Stone published an article titled “The Idol: How HBO’s Next ‘Euphoria’ Became Twisted ‘Torture Porn’,” where they made numerous claims about the show. However, it wasn’t long before chart-topping musician The Weeknd responded to the claims in a short clip.

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In the clip, the singer - who is in character as The Idol’s Tedros - turns down the opportunity for Jocelyn to do a cover shoot with the publication, calling them ‘irrelevant’. The Weeknd later tweeted the clip and tagged Rolling Stone, asking:"Did we upset you?"

Rolling Stone’s editor-in-chief Noah Shachtman replied with “not at all” and shared two of The Weeknd’s past cover shoots with the magazine.

The Idol cast

The Weeknd stars in HBO’s new series, The IdolThe Weeknd stars in HBO’s new series, The Idol
The Weeknd stars in HBO’s new series, The Idol | Getty Images for iHeartMedia

So far, the confirmed cast list of The Idol includes:

  • The Weeknd
  • Lily-Rose Depp
  • BLACKPINK’s Jennie
  • Troye Sivan
  • Rachel Sennott
  • Hari Nef
  • Nico Hiraga
  • Anne Heche
  • Tunde Adebimpe
  • Debby Ryan
  • Elizabeth Berkley

The Idol potential release date

A release date is yet to be confirmed for HBO series, The Idol. However, the series is set to be released on streaming service HBO Max in 2023.

How to watch The Idol in the UK

The Idol will be released on US streaming platform HBO Max, however, this site is not currently available in the UK.

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Sky sometimes allows customers to watch HBO shows through their NOW TV streaming service in the UK, so it is possible that The Idol will be available to watch on the platform when it is released.

This article will be updated when the release date has been announced.

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