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Hot Issue: “Rolling Stone” Was Fired Back by The Weeknd

The Weeknd responded to a Rolling Stone report that his forthcoming HBO series “The Idol,” which he co-created with Sam Levinson of “Euphoria,” has “gone outrageously, disgustingly off the rails.”

Abel “The Weeknd” Weeks In an Instagram post from the series, Tesfaye tagged Rolling Stone and asked, “Did we upset you?”. Dan Levy’s character approaches Tesfaye and Lily-Rose 

Depp’s pop star Jocelyn about participating in a photo session for the Rolling Stone cover. Tesfaye, who portrays the contemporary cult leader Tedros, exclaims, “Rolling Stone? Are they not somewhat irrelevant”?

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The Hot Issue between The Weeknd and “Rolling Stone”

When questioned if they had been offended, Rolling Stone editor-in-chief Noah Shachtman responded, “Not at all!”

HBO is also disputing a Rolling Stone article titled “‘The Idol’: How HBO’s Next ‘Euphoria’ Became Twisted ‘Torture Porn.” They claim the show is in disarray due to a toxic work environment, last-minute script rewrites, and budgetary problems.

First Signs of Trouble

While Rolling Stone claimed that the Euphoria creator’s takeover “weaken[ing] of the show’s overarching message,” Depp, 23, told Variety that Levinson is the “greatest director” she has worked with.

She stated, “I’ve never felt more supported or respected in a creative space, and my ideas and opinions have never been more valued.”

“Working with Sam is a true collaboration in every sense; he cares more than anything else, not only about what his actors think of the work but also about how we feel performing it. He employs people whose work he admires, and he’s always made me feel seen, heard, and valued.”

Later that day, HBO responded to the show’s delays and personnel changes in a statement to Variety.

While The Weeknd claims that Rolling Stone’s negative story about alleged on-set friction is personal, HBO has also denied the article’s claims.

Specifically, claims about why the show’s original director, Amy Seimetz, left the series, why several episodes were allegedly scrapped altogether, and how The Weeknd reportedly had a problem with the show becoming too focused on women.

HBO explained to Variety on Wednesday, “Unfortunately, the original approach to the show and production of the early episodes did not meet HBO standards, so we decided to change. 

The creative team has been dedicated to creating a safe, collaborative, and mutually respectful working environment throughout the process. Last year, the team made innovative changes they felt were in the best interests of both the production and the cast and staff.”

The “The Idol” set was stressful and chaotic, with “divisions among Levinson’s inner circle” and production employees unaware of ongoing changes.

The cable network HBO has not yet disclosed a specific release date for “The Idol,” which is slated to debut in 2023, even though it has released three teaser trailers.


The Weeknd and Rolling Stone’s disagreement over the upcoming HBO series “The Idol” has gone viral on social media. Although it is unclear why The Rolling Stone article so anger the Weeknd, he doesn’t believe they were given a fair portrayal in the piece. 

On the other hand, Rolling Stone stands by their reporting, while HBO disputes claims made in the article and continue to stand by its creative team. Thus far, Lily-Rose Depp’s comments about working with Sam Levinson are the only point of agreement. 

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