The Weeknd mocks Rolling Stone amid reports of toxic workplace on set of ‘The Idol’

In controversy that reeks of Don’t Worry Darling, The Weeknd has reached unprecedented levels of petty after mocking Rolling Stone for their coverage of his upcoming show The Idol. 

The Weeknd has mocked Rolling Stone, after the news outlet published reports of a toxic workplace on the set of his upcoming television show The Idol. Published earlier this week, the Rolling Stone cited 13 anonymous sources from the cast and crew of The Idol, claiming the series has been plagued by delays, script rewrites and a general culture of toxicity since co-creator Sam Levinson took control of production. 

One source claimed the set had become a “shitshow,” with others alleging that Levinson had introduced “rape fantasy” rewrites to the script. Sources claimed that the showrunner — who elsewhere helms the HBO series Euphoriahad added nudity and disturbing sexual content. According to the report, The Idol — due for release sometime this year — had “gone wildly, disgustingly off the rails.

the idol The Weeknd and Lily-Rose Depp
Credit: HBO

Now, The Weeknd has taken to social media to mock Rolling Stone, sharing a clip from The Idol in which his character discusses the publication opposite co-star Lily Rose-Depp. Among other insults, Depp and The Weeknd’s characters describe Rolling Stone as “irrelevant” and “past its prime.” The pair elsewhere scoff at Rolling Stone’s social media follower count.

For his part, co-star Dan Levy seems to be doing a little bit of meta-acting, appearing genuinely and rightfully bemoaned by the pair’s petty reactions. While the internet has collectively wished for the Schitt’s Creek star to be protected from the controversy, his co-star is more than willing to join in on the mess. The Weeknd tagged Rolling Stone in the clip and captioned: “did we upset you?

Reports of script overhauls first emerged when The Idol’s former showrunner Amy Seimetz exited the project due to creative differences, despite already completing five episodes. Under Levinson’s direction, the series — originally about the underbelly of Hollywood from Depp’s perspective — reportedly underwent drastic thematic changes, with one source claiming it had transformed to an exercise in “sexual torture porn.”

Similar reports dogged Euphoria’s second season, and were rumoured to be behind Barbie Ferreira’s sudden departure from the cast. Alongside Depp and The Weeknd, The Idol’s cast also includes fellow musicians Moses Sumney and Troye Sivan, as well as BLACKPINK member Jennie Kim.