Lily Rose-Depp’s New Show Is Accused Of Reinforcing Toxic Masculinity

Lily Rose-Depp, Johnny Depp's daughter, stars in The Idol, a show facing severe accusations.

By Robert Scucci | Published

lily-rose depp the idol

By now we’re more than familiar with the controversial Johnny Depp and Amber Heard court case that inundated our news-feeds throughout 2022. Lily Rose-Depp’s new show appears to be taking a page from the very same playbook in regard to how to handle backlash in light of recent allegations that her new HBO show The Idol glorifies toxic masculinity. But just like the Depp/Heard trial, there’s more nuance behind these allegations than what was made apparent in the original Rolling Stone article that made these claims, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The Johnny Depp trial was in many was a landmark case which ultimately yielded a public perception that advocated for Depp, who won his defamation case against Amber Heard last June. In many ways this case flipped the script in a way that showed the public how Johnny Depp was in fact a victim of defamation (among other things), which should be considered a win for men who also suffer abuse but are afraid to speak up to defend their reputation when falsely accused. When the court sided with Johnny Depp at the end of this televised spectacle, there was of course backlash over the court’s decision to err on the side of toxic masculinity.

In the case of The Idol, Rolling Stone originally reported that the series starring Lily Rose-Depp (Johnny Depp’s daughter) and Abel Tesfaye (better known by his stage name, The Weeknd) gave off vibes that leaned into toxic relationships at the behest of an aggressive male counterpart. Given the controversy that surrounded Johnny Depp’s tumultuous relationship with Amber Heard, it makes sense that people can skew this as a win for glorifying toxic masculinity in our media landscape.

lily-rose depp
Lily Rose-Depp and The Weeknd

Tesfaye quickly jumped into defense mode over allegations that revised scripts for The Idol gave off “rape-y” vibes, which made cast and crew on the set uncomfortable. This shift in tone was attributed to director Amy Seimetz exiting the series and being replaced by Euphoria’s Sam Levinson, who reportedly scrapped the nearly finished project so he could rewrite the entire show with Tesfaye. But just like the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial, there’s going on behind the scenes of this dark satire than meets the eye.

Based on Tesfaye’s accounts, the show needed an overhaul so it could “work,” and Levinson didn’t want to rush the first episode. Tesfaye also asserts that although he was given a much more significant role during the re-writes, this was a natural part of the process. In fact, Tesafaye held firm in his belief that the show remains “grounded in Depp’s perspective as the lead.”

In other words, Tesfaye wasn’t trying to force the hand of the series to make it a more male-dominated role. Hopefully, the public will have a change of heart after the air has been cleared about the racy content found in The Idol after this level of context has been iterated. Just like Johnny Depp’s reputation has been cleared to some degree, there’s still time to clear the reputation for the upcoming HBO series.

And though Johnny Depp’s daughter is caught in the middle of this controversy, she’s standing her ground in defense of the creative direction of The Idol and has gone on record voicing her opinion that working with Tesafaye and Levinson has been nothing short of a pleasure. Depp also expressed frustration, stating, “it’s interesting that people have so much to say about the show already, and they haven’t even seen it.”