Lily-Rose Depp & Abel Tesfaye’s ‘The Idol’ premiered in Cannes to disgusted critics

I’ve been trying to ignore this, but here we go. I’m going to give this as much effort as Sam Levinson. Levinson, Abel Tesfaye and Lily-Rose Depp are in Cannes this week to promote their new HBO show, The Idol. It was originally a show about a pop star (played by Lily-Rose) who fell under the spell of a charismatic cult-like dude, played by Abel, and how the pop star extracted herself from the situation. Then the female showrunner was fired, Sam Levinson was brought in and the whole show was rewritten as an exploitation of women, Lily-Rose’s character in particular. People aren’t buying any of it and the Cannes critics are pretty disgusted. I’m including pics from the photocall and premiere. Lily-Rose is really trying to play up the pouty, disgusted ingénue.

Lily-Rose Depp is looking at The Idol through a creative lens that differs from recent HBO critics. As musician Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye and Euphoria creator Sam Levinson’s latest project receives reviews of ultra-lust (like The Wrap’s declaration the series is “luxury sleaze”), Depp, 23, deep dives into her character — the wannabe popstar, Jocelyn.

“I think that something about Jocelyn is just that she’s a born and bred performer,” she said at a Cannes Film Festival press conference for the series. “I think that extends to every aspect of her life, not just her professional life. I think that the way that she dresses, for example, is her trying to tell you something all the time or say something to the people that she’s around or express herself in some kind of way.”

Depp continued, “And I also think that the occasional bareness of the character physically mirrors the bareness that we get to see emotionally in her.”

For director Levinson, Jocelyn is a reflection of American culture — particularly the influence of p–nography on the “psyche of young people.”

“It’s funny, I think that sometimes things that might be revolutionary are taken too far,” Levinson also told reporters at the press conference. “I think we live in a very sexualized world.”

Levinson continued, “We see this in pop music and how it reflects the underbelly of the internet in some ways. I think that with this show and working with Lily, we had a lot of discussions about who she is as a person, who Jocelyn is as a person, and what she’s feeling, what she’s angling, who she’s playing to.”

[From People]

Maybe I’m too old for this show and these conversations, but whenever I see a very young-looking woman being exploited by the men around her, I don’t see some brave exploration of sexuality or some kind of highbrow commentary on today’s world. I just see… exploitation and objectification. There’s nothing about this which is sexy or titillating or even “important” or worthy of conversation. It’s just some poorly written, poorly executed, sexist garbage.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.

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27 Responses to “Lily-Rose Depp & Abel Tesfaye’s ‘The Idol’ premiered in Cannes to disgusted critics”

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  1. BeanieBean says:

    I watched the trailer. It’s just another excuse to get a young girl naked, which they do by convincing her it’s ‘art’. The trailer also seemed very similar to the Babylon trailer. Young women naked, debauchery everywhere, oh what fun.

  2. Eurydice says:

    What is “p-nography”? Something new, or just that People doesn’t want to spell out “pornography”?

    And it doesn’t seem like Lily-Rose and Sam are on the same wavelength here. She thinks it’s about personal expression and he thinks it’s about sexualization going too far and the effects of pornography on young people. So, which is it?

  3. HeyKay says:

    Stop all the nepo baby careers.
    95% of these kids do not have talent, just connections. JMO.

  4. cherry says:

    None of this sounds very good, but what’s the source for ‘People aren’t buying any of it and the Cannes critics are pretty disgusted’…? All I read here is a non-sensical interview with Lily Rose D?

    • mia girl says:

      If you go on socials you’ll see all kinds of reactions out of Cannes. But to sum it up, The Idol is currently at 19% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes based on Cannes critics reactions:

      Critics’ consensus text “Every bit as florid and sleazy as the industry it seeks to satirize, The Idol places itself on a pedestal with unbridled style but wilts under the spotlight. ”

      From Rolling Stone critic “Nasty, brutish, [feels] much longer than it is, and way, way worse than you’d have anticipated.”

  5. TIFFANY says:

    The female show runner was fired because Abel thought the series was being too kind and not objectifying Depp’s character enough. So he had that woman fired and HBO brought in Sam and well, this is the result.

    That bit of information should not be ignored.

    Abel and Sam are both like minded garbage.

    • Mallory says:

      This. Abel wanted to be centered, have his ego stroked & an excuse to treat women like garbage…cuz it’s his art you know. I hope all take note of what happens when you switch out a competent women because they aren’t soothing a man’s feefees enough & replace her with a boot licking bro. Hope it tanks.

  6. Normades says:

    Meh. The real star on the Idol carpet walk was Jennie from Blackpink who has a bit role. She walked way behind the other cast so to not steal the spotlight but the photogs and crowd were chanting her name.

  7. WiththeAmericann says:

    What I read about the plot and the se*ual liquid on her face made me sick. I really don’t want to be seeing this crap on Max, but you can’t block it.

    It really upsets me, I’m probably going to have to not use the steamer for a few months.

    • Mallory says:

      You can file a complaint with the FCC: 1-888-225-5322 & know you’re not doing it just for you- if you get jolted by this, imagine all the other women with you.
      We know from stats that over 40% of women in the US have encountered sexual violence & a large amount still suffer from CPTSD, mainly due to societal treatment after such an assault. Women are more than half the population, so over 20% of our population have endured this societal epidemic: We deserve to watch tv without the reminder of mistreatment, assault & revictimization.

      • Poppy says:

        This. All day

      • JesMa says:

        The FCC can’t really do anything about HBO. From Slate below. Your option is pretty much to avoid the show. If the ratings are low it won’t be renewed.

        The FCC’s regulatory powers extend only to over-the-air broadcasters, who transmit their programs via the publicly owned spectrum. In order to obtain the FCC’s permission to use slivers of that spectrum, broadcasters agree to abide by the commission’s rules, which include indecency standards. Cable, on the other hand, travels to American homes via privately built and maintained hardware. (The same goes for satellite services like the DISH Network, whose orbiting hardware is privately launched.) So, cable channels needn’t strike a bargain with the FCC in order to operate.

  8. Coco says:

    Reading other interviews from Lily-Rose she believes she is way smarter than she is and her arrogance that she knows everything will leave her to being exploited time and time again.

  9. otaku fairy says:

    I think the female showrunner’s version of the story could have been interesting to watch, but this version just seems kind of cringe. It is not the same as a very young female or very young queer male using art to explore their sexuality or share their story of rejecting values that a victim-blaming and bigoted world has tried to force on them. It’s just dudes taking a female creator’s story and sucking the humanity out of it. Plus, even though I haven’t read the rolling stone article, it seems like the working conditions aren’t good either.

  10. Jeanette says:

    And here we see the real reason JD is not hitting the might be a little awkward to be a messy drunk around your daughter.

    • Mallory says:

      Naw, he doesn’t care about her actual wellbeing- she’s one of his commodities to him.
      Pics of his rotten teeth have his ego hurt, so he’s likely getting them capped while using it as excuse to go on a bender.

  11. j.ferber says:

    Lily-Rose still seems to be battling anorexia, in my opinion. She looks so, so tiny.

  12. Spkj says:

    The show seemed like it had a better story before the female director was fired. Im only interested to see this, to see if its as bad as what they are saying.
    I really liked Euphoria but I’m really questioning all the stuff that was said about that show. I thought Able was a cool dude, before hearing all this drama surrounding the show. I am not a major fan of the weeknd but I’ve never heard anything negative about him prior to this. I just read a month ago he was the most streamed artist world wide. Sounds like a self absorbed man to me.
    I don’t care for the disses on Depp though. Shouldn’t we be talking about the disgusting men controlling this show, not her?