The Weeknd, Lily-Rose Depp, Sam Levinson Respond to 'The Idol' Toxic Set Allegations

The discussion happened during a press conference at the Cannes Film Festival

BY Ben OkazawaPublished May 23, 2023

HBO's controversial upcoming show The Idol premiered its first two episodes at the Cannes Film Festival on Monday (May 22), and in a press conference today, creator Sam Levinson answered questions for the first time about the Rolling Stone article detailing the controversy surrounding crew and script changes, as well as allegations of a hostile workplace environment. 

"We know we're making a show that is provocative. It's not lost on us," said Levinson. "In terms of the specifics of what was in [the article], it just felt completely foreign to me." 

Co-creator the Weeknd (or is it Abel now?) didn't talk about the on-set controversies in the press conference at all, but did say the show was created, in part, to "piss some people off." 

Lily-Rose Depp, who leads the cast as the rising young starlet Jocelyn, commented on the allegations as well. "It's always a little sad and disheartening to see mean, false things said about someone you care about," she said of Levinson. "It wasn't reflective at all of my experience." 

Watch the entire press conference with the cast and crew at the Cannes Film Festival's official website.

The Idol is set to arrive on Max (formerly HBO Max) on June 4. Watch the latest teaser below. 


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