The Weeknd Mocked After Hitting Back at 'Idol' Set Drama Report: 'Bad Look'

HBO's newest show The Idol was hit by a scathing report by Rolling Stone magazine into alleged on-set chaos during production. These claims include often daily rewrites, delayed shoots, and a complete overhaul that made the story into "sexual torture porn."

Abel "The Weeknd" Tesfaye, 33, co-created the series. It was alleged that changes were made because the singer felt the story was focused too much on the "female perspective" of Lily-Rose Depp's Jocelyn.

The drama follows the character as she embarks on a relationship with The Weeknd's Tedros, while trying to navigate the dark reality of the music industry.

Following the report's publication on March 1, The Weeknd responded directly via social media, and his reply led to criticism from fans.

The Weeknd Mocked After Hitting Back at 'Idol' Set Drama Report: 'Bad Look'

The Weeknd 'The Idol'
The Weeknd attends 20th Century Studio's "Avatar 2: The Way of Water" U.S. Premiere at Dolby Theatre at Dolby Theatre on December 12, 2022 in Hollywood, California. Frazer Harrison/Getty

Rolling Stone's report included allegations by multiple inside-sources from the show. They spoke about their experiences with original director Amy Seimetz and then, after her exit in April 2022, the complete overhaul of the almost-complete series when Euphoria's Sam Levinson stepped in.

Some of the more damning accusations referred to the gratuitous levels of nudity and sexual violence that was allegedly added to the series when Levinson changed the show's direction.

According to the report, one source said changes to the script meant "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."

Another source said the drama's premise changed significantly from Seimetz's original vision: "It was a show about a woman who was finding herself sexually, turned into a show about a man who gets to abuse this woman and she loves it."

The report alleged that scenes written for the show, but not filmed, included one in which Depp's character was beaten by Tedros, which prompted her to ask for "more." Another alleged unrecorded scene would have seen Depp's Jocelyn carry an egg in her vagina. If she dropped it, Tedros would not "rape" her, and the character reportedly ended up "begging" for the assault.

Referring to these alleged storylines, one source told Rolling Stone: "It was like, 'What is this? What am I reading here?' It was like sexual torture porn."

Newsweek has contacted HBO and The Weeknd's representatives for further comment.

After Rolling Stone's report was published, The Weeknd responded by sharing a clip from the show, in which his character called the publication "irrelevant." In the caption, the singer tweeted Rolling Stone directly and wrote "did we upset you?"

Fans of the singer took to the comments section of his post to criticize him for his response. Others mocked the reaction by sharing images of his past covers with Rolling Stone and even lyrics he wrote in the past in praise of the magazine.

One person criticized The Weeknd by writing: "have many questions for the team of people who told you this was the way you should respond."

Another person added: "This is such a bad look (and I'm not talking about the excellent reporting from @RollingStone)."

One person joked that The Weeknd's response was "a bad idea babes..."

Criticizing the musician, one person tweeted: "as a longtime fan this is extremely disappointing coming from you."

Another tweeted: "Same guy who bragged about being featured in the rolling stone on after hours? I've been a big fan of you but I've gotta say, I'm disappointed. The concerns of the article flew right over your head bro."

While a number of The Weeknd's followers criticized him for his response, others showed support and posted that they were looking forward to The Idol, despite the report.

One person tweeted: "Best answer ever. Love it! Love you! You make my night! While waiting for the release of 'live at @SoFiStadium album'."

Another wrote that they would be "watching the idol ASAP!" while another posted that they would "accept no Abel slander."