HBO’s highly controversial new series The Idol, co-created by and starring The Weeknd, will end on July 2nd after five episodes instead of six, as originally planned.
The show stars The Weeknd as the cult leader Tedros, who embarks on a relationship with aspiring popstar Jocelyn, played by Lily-Rose Depp. Actors like Rachel Sennott, Troye Sivan and Suzanna Son also star.
Months before The Idol aired, it was subject to widespread controversy when a Rolling Stone article exposed the show’s production as going “wildly, disgustingly off the rails.”
“It was like any rape fantasy that any toxic man would have in the show — and then the woman comes back for more because it makes her music better,” explained one anonymous crew member.
Initially directed by a woman, Amy Seimetz, production was halted when creative differences led Sam Levinson to take over. The Weeknd was concerned that under Seimetz’s direction, the show was too focused on the “female perspective.”
Another crew member explained that the show spiralled into “sexual torture porn” when Levinson took charge. Since its release, many people have urged viewers to boycott the show, with many taking to illegal streaming sites to watch The Idol without adding to its ratings.
Now, it has been announced that the six-episode series will finish in just five, with the finale, ‘Jocelyn Forever’, airing on July 2nd. A source reported to TVLine, “The season ended up being five episodes when it was all said and done after Sam [Levinson] took over and made significant changes. The story only ended up requiring 5.”