HBO and Lily-Rose Depp Defend Director Sam Levinson Over The Idol Production Claims

Lily-Rose Depp and The Weeknd star in HBO's upcoming music industry drama The Idol, which is facing controversy due to new claims against Euphoria director Sam Levinson.

By JD Knapp Mar 01, 2023 9:06 PMTags
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Lily-Rose Depp is standing by Sam Levinson's side.

Amid a report from Rolling Stone alleging that production on the upcoming HBO series The Idol has gone "off the rails" and devolved into "torture porn" after Levinson took over as director, the series star is pushing back.

"Sam is, for so many reasons, the best director I have ever worked with," Depp shared in a statement obtained by E! News. "Never have I felt more supported or respected in a creative space, my input and opinions more valued. Working with Sam is a true collaboration in every way—it matters to him, more than anything, not only what his actors think about the work, but how we feel performing it.

Continuing with her praise, the 23-year-old noted that the Euphoria creator "hires people whose work he esteems and has always created an environment in which I felt seen, heard and appreciated."

Depp stars alongside The Weeknd—who co-created the series with Levinson—in the six-episode music industry drama. Production initially began in November 2021 with Amy Seimetz helming the project. However, the Girlfriend Experience director exited the series in April 2022 due to a new creative direction, allowing Levinson to take over.

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HBO echoed Depp's sentiments regarding the upcoming series in a statement of their own.



"The creators and producers of The Idol have been working hard to create one of HBO's most exciting and provocative original programs," the premium network wrote. "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."

They concluded, "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."

The Idol is set to premiere on HBO sometime in 2023.

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