Over the last few months, there has been a lot of talk about The Idol. The TV series, with Euphoria's Sam Levinson and Abel "The Weeknd" Tesfaye at the helm, stars Lily-Rose Depp and tells the story of an aspiring pop star who finds herself involved with a self-help guru and cult leader.
While the first episode landed on HBO this weekend, it was first screened at Cannes Film Festival in May, and months ahead of its release there were reports that it was laced with controversy both on and off screen.
The Idol had been the subject of an exposé in Rolling Stone in March, whereby anonymous show runners and members of the production team claimed that the show had gone 'disgustingly off the rails' following the departure of director Amy Seimetz. When she left the project, it was reportedly 80% complete - but was overhauled and redirected.
Levinson said that the plot was seeded by the concept of 'what happens when a pop star falls for the wrong guy and no one speaks up', but it has been heavily criticised with insiders claiming it had gone 'from satire to the thing it was satirising' and had become 'about a man who gets to abuse this woman and she loves it'.
However, despite the criticism levelled against the HBO show, there's one thing that viewers have found most irritating.
In the episode, Pop Tarts and Rat Tales, Depp's character, Jocelyn, is seen smoking in a number of scenes. And it's her decision to light up while in a sauna that appears to have really tipped viewers.
Taking to Twitter, one wrote: "Ain’t no way this girl smoking in a sauna."
Another added: "Jocelyn has smoked like 5 cigarettes and we’re only like 30 minutes into the episode."
Jocelyn anytime someone asks her a question #THEIDOL pic.twitter.com/XSBO5x7oE8June 5, 2023
No one: Jocelyn from the idol every 5 minutes: pic.twitter.com/9n21N1YUQ1June 5, 2023
Ahead of the public release, Levinson touched on the controversy and criticism at the Cannes Film Festival, stating: "We know that we’re making a show that’s provocative, it’s not lost on us."
Will you be watching The Idol?
Marie Claire Newsletter
Celebrity news, beauty, fashion advice, and fascinating features, delivered straight to your inbox!
Jadie Troy-Pryde is News Editor, covering celebrity and entertainment, royal, lifestyle and viral news. Before joining the team in 2018 as the Lifestyle and Social Media Editor, she worked at a number of women’s fashion and lifestyle titles including Grazia, Women’s Health and Stylist, and now heads the Marie Claire UK news desk.
Taylor Swift reveals when she actually started dating Travis Kelce - and why she's refusing to hide their relationship
She's opening up about it *all*
By Jadie Troy-Pryde
Forget the South of France in summer, winter’s the time to go
By Penny Goldstone
The biggest dating trends for 2024 might just get you back on the apps
Feeling jaded by modern dating? Take a look at this
By Lauren Hughes