The show, which was co-created by Sam Levinson, The Weeknd, and Reza Fahim, was a lighting rod for controversy before it began. In March, Rolling Stone reported on the alleged “shitshow” workplace and overhaul of the show following the exit of director Amy Seimetz.
“The creators and producers of The Idol have been working hard to create one of HBO’s most exciting and provocative original programs. 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,” HBO said in a statement at the time to BuzzFeed News. “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.”