Photo: Frazer Harrison / Contributor via Getty Images
  /  03.03.2023

On Wednesday (March 1), Rolling Stone published a revealing look at the behind-the-scenes chaos of “The Idol,” HBO’s new show starring The Weeknd and Lily-Rose Depp. The Weeknd released a clip from the show in response where he and Depp’s characters brush off the relevance of the legacy music publication. Today (March 3), writer Tomás Mier tweeted a photo of a monkey in response to the Dawn FM singer, prompting a swift and unforgiving response from Twitter users.

“Isn’t a good take to be racist if you want to prove a point,” one user tweeted in response to Mier’s since-deleted post. “No wonder he got more likes than that article got views. It has trash like you writing for them. Makes sense why their credit is trash now. I feel sorry for [Rolling Stone] losing viewers and employing garbage.”

“Euphoria” director Sam Levinson took over the production of “The Idol” and reportedly rebuilt the show from the ground up. Between $54 million and $75 million was spent on the series prior to Levinson’s arrival. When the new showrunner joined the team, he rewrote most of the already-written scripts and took the show in a completely new direction, with crew members telling Rolling Stone it had become a “torture porn” fantasy.

HBO disputed the magazine’s claims in a statement. “The initial approach on the show and production of the early episodes, unfortunately, did not meet HBO standards so we chose to make a change,” the network said. “Throughout the process, the creative team has been committed to creating a safe, collaborative, and mutually respectful working environment, and last year, the team made creative changes they felt were in the best interest of both the production and the cast and crew.”

“The Idol” follows Depp’s character Jocelyn, an up-and-coming pop star, and The Weeknd’s character Tedros, her love interest who happens to also be a modern-day cult leader. In the viral clip ridiculing Rolling Stone, Tedros dismisses its popularity today, asking them on Twitter, “Did we upset you?”

It’s not the first time the writer has found himself in hot water over his opinions of Black artists. In a now-deleted May 2020 Medium article, he charted the former members of Fifth Harmony’s success post-breakup and saved some of the harshest words for Normani, lamenting her “lack of personality” and her needing to “change her attitude.”

The release date for “The Idol” remains unknown.



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