The Weeknd called out over "weird" Selena Gomez references in The Idol
30 June 2023, 10:02
Lily-Rose Depp explains her role in The Idol
Fans think that many scenes in The Idol are inspired by Selena Gomez and Britney Spears.
The Idol viewers are calling out The Weeknd after spotting multiple "weird" references to Selena Gomez in his new TV show.
It's no secret that The Idol has been plagued with controversy. In March, Rolling Stone published a report in which members of production compared the show to "torture porn" and one person said that it was a "scarring" experience. Co-created by The Weeknd and Sam Levinson, The Idol tells the dark story of a fictional pop star named Jocelyn (Lily-Rose Depp).
Now that the first episode has aired, people are accusing The Weeknd of exploiting his ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez. The Idol appears to take inspiration from real-life things that happened to Selena and fans are criticising The Weeknd for it.
Is Jocelyn in The Idol inspired by Selena Gomez?
In episode 1 of The Idol, we learn that Jocelyn is preparing a comeback after cancelling a tour due to a nervous breakdown. We then see Jocelyn posing for the cover art of her new single. In the photoshoot, Jocelyn wears little apart from a hospital bracelet she was given in rehab. There is debate about the bracelet but one of her team says "mental illness is sexy".
Instantly, fans drew comparisons between the scene and Selena Gomez's 'Bad Liar' photoshoot. 'Bad Liar' was Selena's first single after cancelling dates of her Revival tour for mental health reasons. In the original 'Bad Liar' single art, Selena wears a hospital band. The photo was taken after Selena had just received treatment for her lupus.
Given that Selena was dating The Weeknd at the same time as the 'Bad Liar' photoshoot, fans are speculating that he may have used her experiences to influence aspects of Jocelyn's character. Fans have also compares Jocelyn's relationship with her best friend/assistant to Selena's relationship with her best friend Raquelle Stevens.
A viewer tweeted: "also i love the weeknd but u can tell jocelyn’s character was inspired heavy by selena if i was her watching this i would sue bc wth [sic]".
Another wrote: "not the weeknd exploiting selena's trauma for the Idol plot. this is why we h88888 men. [sic]"
Selena Gomez had a kidney transplant and was a victim of bipolar episodes during this time, to take that part of her life and blast it into a drama series is top 3 most vicious things an ex can do. Sam Levinson & Abel Tesfaye yall are WEIRD! https://t.co/y60a8P6kzd— Marcus (@marcusekin) June 29, 2023
selena gomez watching the idol pic.twitter.com/o01cWciakR— all excellent (@zeromediocre) June 5, 2023
who watched the first ep of the idol? i hope they’re not trying to take a dig at selena bc i will fight pic.twitter.com/F1EBSk5c0J— R (fan account) (@selenagomezsax) June 5, 2023
no cos tell me all these small things like the vanity fair writer sayinf i grew up watching u to josslyn the idol arent digs at selena?????! this is so weird— lola❤️🩹 (@4prilsh0wers) June 5, 2023
not the weeknd exploiting selena's trauma for the Idol plot. this is why we h88888 men— meeky bean (@meeekaveli) June 2, 2023
also i love the weeknd but u can tell jocelyn’s character was inspired heavy by selena if i was her watching this i would sue bc wth— jess (@enchantdaze) June 5, 2023
Rachel Sennott’s character in The Idol is definitely based on Selena’s handler “bestie” Raquelle— :) (@garbagethot) June 5, 2023
As well as Selena, people have made comparisons between Jocelyn and Britney Spears. However, Sam Levinson has made a point to deny the comparisons. At a press conference in Cannes, Sam shut down claims that Jocelyn is based on Britney, or any other real life pop star.
According to Deadline, he said: "We’re not trying to tell a story about any particular pop star."
He then added: "It’s a lot of pressure - to have to constantly be on, and to be what everyone wishes you to be. It’s a lonely life. We can all pretend that everyone is looking out for someone’s best interest, but I think fame really corrupts; it’s really easy to surround yourself with myth-makers who continue to prop us up."
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