The Weeknd Calls "The Idol" "Almost Educational" Amid Controversy

The series has been receiving a ton of backlash.

BYCaroline Fisher
Cannes Film Festival 2023 Photocall

In a recent interview with Variety, The Weeknd discussed his controversial HBO series, The Idol. He stars in The Idol alongside Lily-Rose Depp, and is a co-creator of the series. The show has received a ton of backlash for it's frequent nudity and depictions of toxicity in characters and relationships. The Weeknd has continued to defend the project, and his recent interview is no different.

He tells Variety, “My goal was for people to feel that way when they watch it, you know, and that they’ll reassess (fame)." The artist continues, “It’s almost educational that this is what comes with being incredibly famous. You’re surrounded by people who you’re not sure what their true intentions are, even if it seems like they’re good. You just never know.” The Weeknd then goes on to compare his personal experience to Lily-Rose Depp's character in the series, Jocelyn. “I’ve been very fortunate to have people around me that I’ve known almost my entire life," he says, "which is important and is a gift.”

Read More: The Weeknd Reportedly “Ordered” To Film Unscripted Assault Scene For “The Idol”

The Weeknd Defends The Idol

(L-R) Sam Levinson, Lily-Rose Depp and Abel 'The Weeknd' Tesfaye attend "The Idol" photocall at the 76th annual Cannes film festival at Palais des Festivals on May 23, 2023 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/FilmMagic)

He then goes on to describe how some characters in the show work to send a message. “Nothing is worse than a yes-man," The Weeknd explains, "especially when you have a bunch of yes-men around you. And when you see a character like Nikki, who’s not a yes-man, she might seem like a bad person, but then you kind of like her for being honest."

The Weeknd has previously stated that the show has managed to get the reaction they were looking for. “I’m loving it," he told GQ, "It’s definitely shaken up the culture for sure.” He continued, “We knew we were making something dark and controversial but true to what we want to say.”

Read More: Lily-Rose Depp Defends Controversial Sex Scenes In “The Idol”


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About The Author
Caroline Fisher is a News Writer at HotNewHipHop from Chicago, Illinois. She started at HNHH this year, and has since spent her time writing about all that is newsworthy in the world of hip-hop. With a drive for hunting down the hottest stories, she enjoys documenting new developments in culture and entertainment. She also has an appreciation for hip-hop and seeks to cover the most important trends and shifts. She has a Bachelor of Arts which she received at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Having graduated in 2022, she majored in English with a concentration in Media, Rhetoric and Cultural Studies. Specializing all things music, pop culture and entertainment, some of her favorite musical artists include Snoop Dogg, OutKast, and Nicki Minaj. When she’s not writing about music she’s also a fan of attending shows, watching the latest movies, staying up-to-date with current events, photography, and poetry.