A writer for Rolling Stone faces heavy accusations of racism after he replied to The Weeknd’s shots at the publication with a picture of a monkey. Moreover, this all stemmed from a recently shared promo clip of HBO’s upcoming series The Idol, which Abel stars in. In the clip, his character disses Rolling Stone, calling them “irrelevant” when approached for a promo opportunity. Afterwards, the magazine shared a report in which they interviewed various cast members and came to critical and damning conclusions on the show’s production, script, and messaging. Then, the Canadian star tweeted the clip, asking the publication “Did we upset you?” and a writer responded with the seemingly bigoted meme.

While many might take this as overly reactionary, it’s important to consider the context of their feud and the imagery in the meme. In fact, it’s kind of a reflection of the hypocritical and indulgent brush that they painted the series with in their report. Still, many on social media found it quite funny, mostly in spite of the connotation and hopefully not because of it. Also, it just so happens to target one of the most successful artists of our time, and one who already pushes back against industry institutions.

Rolling Stone Writer Faces Accusations Of Racism For Response To The Weeknd

Moreover, the show’s behind the scenes testimonies took a backseat in the midst of this ordeal. However, HBO issued a statement on these allegations, including one that noted series director Amy Seimetz being booted halfway through. “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.

“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. We look forward to sharing The Idol with audiences soon.” Still, audiences don’t have the show in their hands to compare, and maybe there’s some truth to what happened on set. But a possibly discriminatory response to a minority superstar rings louder right now than any speculation on a yet-to-premiere show. Regardless, stick around on HNHH for more updates on this story and The Weeknd.