HBO addresses reports The Idol is being cancelled after one season amid explicit content controversy

HBO addresses reports The Idol is being cancelled after one season (Home Box Office )
HBO addresses reports The Idol is being cancelled after one season (Home Box Office )

HBO has responded to reports The Idol has been dropped amid controversy over the amount of explicit sexual content depicted in it.

Launched earlier this month, the series stars Lily-Rose Depp, 23, as a troubled pop star named Jocelyn who gets involved with a nightclub owner and cult leader named Tedros, played by The Weeknd.

Since its premiere, the show has come under fire from both critics and viewers who have deemed it “too graphic”. Following the show’s recent second episode, fans branded dialogue used during a sex scene between the two main characters as “sick” and “nasty”.

The Weeknd, who is also an executive producer on the series, has since insisted that the scene was intentionally shocking and wasn’t meant to be “sexy” for those watching.

In the wake of the negative reaction, PageSix reported on Thursday that the series would not return for a second season, claiming a source told them: “This was never meant to be a long-running show, it was always… a limited series.”

However, the outlet also cited another TV insider, who claimed that the door is “still definitely open” for the show to return for a second season, adding: “It’s definitely not a decision [yet].

“At this point, this is normal in our process… we’re only two episodes in.”

In light of the report, HBO’s official PR Twitter account addressed the claims, clarifying that no decision has been reached regarding the future of the show.

HBO tweeted: “It is being misreported that a decision on a second season of The Idol has been determined.

“It has not, and we look forward to sharing the next episode with you Sunday night.”

Despite the chatter about its explicit content, Depp previously defended the show and insisted that its raunchy nature added to her character’s “rawness”.

While promoting the show, she told Extra: “I think the daringness of all of the scenes was something that added to the character’s rawness. Also, to my desire to go there and explore the character to the best I could.”

Back in March, Rolling Stone reported that director Amy Seimetz left the project after Levinson had ramped up the show’s nudity, sex and violence to “disturbing” levels.

Depp previously defended the show’s explicit nature (HBO)
Depp previously defended the show’s explicit nature (HBO)

One of the 11 crew members the outlet spoke to said: “It was like any rape fantasy that any toxic man would have in the show – and then the woman comes back for more because it makes her music better”.

Two months on the show’s creator Sam Levinson defended its gratuitous nudity during a news conference in Cannes where the show premiered.

He said: “We live in a very sexualised world, especially in the States, and I think the influence of pornography is really strong in terms of the psyche of, I think, young people in the States.

“We see this in pop music and how it sort of reflects the underbelly of the internet. I think it’s very true to what almost every pop star doing these days.”