In a not-so-subtle response to Rolling Stone over criticism of his HBO dramatic series, The Weeknd blasted them as “irrelevant” with a clip from the show.
The Canadian singer shared a clip from the upcoming HBO series The Idol in which he stars alongside Lily Rose-Depp to his social media Tuesday (March 1). He tagged the publication and wrote, “Did we upset you?” in the caption.
In the scene, The Weeknd plays Tedros, a modern-day cult leader who is listening to a pitch made by Dan Levy’s character for Jocelyn, the pop star played by Rose-Depp, to do a photo shoot for Rolling Stone.
“Rolling Stone? Aren’t they a little irrelevant? … Rolling Stone has six million followers on Instagram, half of them probably bots. And Jocelyn has 78 million followers, all real I’d assume. So she does a photo shoot, she tags them, they get her followers. More money for ‘Rolling Stone,’ nothing for Jocelyn,” he responds.
The 33-year-old superstar has been dealing with the aftermath of a scathing article criticizing the series from the publication. The article cites sources close to the production that describe it as highly chaotic, with claims that The Weeknd (who is also a producer on the show) wanted the focus to be more on him than his costar.
The Idol also underwent a change of director, with Sam Levinson stepping in to finish the six-episode season after Amy Seimetz left the production as it was 80% percent complete. The same sources then claim that the Euphoria director went over the top by ramping up the disturbing sexual content and weakening the target message of the show, which was meant to be satirical of the entertainment industry.
Representatives from The Weeknd’s team have dismissed the article as “rumors,” while HBO issued a lengthy statement: “The creators and producers of ‘The Idol’ have been working hard to create one of HBO’s most exciting and provocative original programs,” HBO said.
“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.”
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