sam levinson is no stranger to scandals, because with the series of Euphoria – 79% his name began to be read among many critics for the way of addressing the adolescent problems of this generation. The director has been working in the industry for several years now and his style has always been the same, but every time he finds better opportunities to take control of his own narrative. This felt especially important with a project like the idolbut months before its premiere, rolling stones published an article revealing lurid details about filming and sexism on set, something that the creator himself and lily rose deppprotagonist of the series, they assure is entirely false.
Keep reading: The Idol: new series from the creator of Euphoria and The Weeknd has been a disaster
Levinson’s works are always visually extreme and usually have women as protagonists, something that has been widely analyzed by the public and critics, who most of the time applaud the fact that he subverts the expectations that are held for certain types of female figures in cinema and television. However, the idolfrom the beginning, it had to go even further and the line that divides empowerment from exploitation is quite thin and subtle.
the idol it was the singer’s idea Abel Tesfayeaka The Weeknd, who assured Levinson that if he wanted to he could start a cult out of the kind of loyalty and dedication his fans feel for him. This led them to explore the world of the music industry and how pop singers have been exploited for hypocritical sales, partly through pornography and partly through the responsibility of being role models. While they were writing the series, the director Amy Seimetzwho also served as an executive producer, would provide the much-needed feminist eyes on the story, but when she left due to creative conflicts, the entire series changed focus.
It is said that at this point, Levinson and The Weeknd they took a different control of things to give more power to the character of the singer, who plays a manipulative Guru who intervenes in the life of Jocelyn, the quintessential pop singer. A report of rolling stones revealed very unpleasant details about the filming that allegedly came from elements of the crew that were actually there and saw how the plot went from being a criticism of the industry with a woman trying to break the cycle of abuse, to one where the protagonist is constantly subjected and sexually tortured for something supposedly artistic.
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The Weeknd he immediately responded to the scandal, but his handling wasn’t the best, and now that the first two episodes have premiered in Cannes to widely differing opinions, the controversy has only escalated. the idol has been called pornographic, exploitative, and an adolescent masculine fantasy that remains superficial in its criticism and uses it only to show lily rose depp naked and in sexual situations almost all the time, which already worried audiences. However, she assures that she was always involved in the conversations about her character and Levinson also affirms that the criticism behind all that is more relevant.
During a press conference (via indiewire), Levinson defended his work:
We know we’re doing a show that’s provocative. We’re not ignorant of that, but it’s weird, because when my wife read the article to me, I said, ‘I think we’re about to have the biggest series of the summer.’ As for the details of what it contained, it seemed completely strange to me. But I know who I am. People can write whatever they want. If I had one small quibble, it’s that they intentionally left out everything that didn’t fit their narrative. But I think we’ve seen a lot of that lately.
lily rose depp stepped in to ensure she always felt safe and in control:
I have never felt more involved in these kinds of conversations before. [sobre filmar desnuda]. I felt like I was privileged in creating this character, from the inside out and from the outside in.
It’s always a little sad and discouraging to see these pushy, fake things about someone you really care about that you know doesn’t.
Hank Azariawho is part of the cast, also assured that he has been on several really chaotic sets and with cruel directors, but that sam levinson it was just the opposite, and it created harmony to be able to film the toughest scenes. In the end, the director defends the main criticism of the idol which is about how we live in a hypersexualized world and how pornography alters the minds of new generations, from their work to the way they relate to other people.
don’t leave without reading: The Idol: first reactions call it pornographic and extreme