“The Idol” director Sam Levinson laughed as he ordered The Weeknd and Lily-Rose Depp to film a “disturbing” rape scene for the controversial show, Page Six can exclusively reveal.
An eyewitness tells us a “non-consensual semen scene” was shot for last Sunday’s episode of the HBO drama series, but ended up being cut from the final edit.
We’re told The Weeknd (real name: Abel Tesfaye), who plays duplicitous nightclub owner-turned-opportunist Tedros, and Depp, who portrays impressionable rising pop star Jocelyn, filmed a sex scene in the bathroom of the Grammy winner’s real-life Bel Air mansion when Levinson gave the impromptu direction.
The spy explains that the Emmy-winning “Euphoria” creator “explicitly directed” the character of Tedros to “strangle” the character of Jocelyn and ejaculate “inside her without her consent.” The spy makes sure to clarify that The Weeknd himself “did not literally” ejaculate inside Depp.
Levinson was allegedly “by the monitor, laughing and feeding lines to Abel’s character, like, ‘I own you,’” the insider tells us.
Though both Tesfaye, 33, and Depp, 24, “went along with Sam’s direction,” the source says the majority of those on set found the scene “extremely disturbing.”
A second source, who confirms the scene was filmed, tells us it was “originally set up to lead to a pregnancy scare for Jocelyn and ultimately was cut because of storyline adjustments, which is a normal part of the creative process on a television series.”
This insider insists Levinson, 38, “does not take issues of consent lightly” and that the show’s creative team “was committed to creating a safe, collaborative and mutually respectful working environment on set, which included having an intimacy coordinator for various scenes.”
The intimacy coordinator for “The Idol,” Mam Smith, did not respond to our numerous requests for comment.
Levinson’s rep had “no comment,” and reps for both Tesfaye and Depp did not respond to our repeated inquiries.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for HBO shares, “‘The Idol’ is a fictional show with flawed, fictional characters. The director and actors were all doing their jobs. It is a television series and therefore not real.”
“The Idol,” which premiered on June 4, has since received tons of backlash for its “X-rated” sex scenes and storylines.
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But the show was facing the heat even before it debuted.
In May, Rolling Stone published an exposé in which multiple members of the series’ cast and crew spoke out about the graphic nature of the show and accused Levinson of twisting it into a “rape fantasy.”
Levinson addressed the scathing report during an interview at the Cannes Film Festival last month, saying, “We know we are making a show that is provocative. It’s not lost on us. I know who I am.”
Depp and The Weeknd have also publicly defended the project, as well as its polarizing maker.
Johnny Depp’s daughter told Vogue Australia earlier this week that “the nudity and the risqué nature” of her role is all “really intentional.”
“I’ve never felt more respected and more safe on a set, honestly,” she told the mag, crediting “the trust” she “built” with both Levinson and Tesfaye with making her feel comfortable.
Meanwhile, the R&B singer — who co-created the show and also serves as an executive producer — told Variety last week that the overwhelmingly negative reaction to it is “very much expected” and “exactly what [showrunners] wanted to do.”
He also stood behind his controversial character, telling GQ earlier this month that he felt no need to “sugarcoat” his portrayal of Tedros, whom he described as a “psychopath.”
Fans were angry when they realized “The Idol” is concluding this coming Sunday after just five episodes, one less than what had originally been ordered by the network.
However, a source told Page Six earlier this month that “the door is definitely still open” for HBO to greenlight a Season 2.
“This was never meant to be a long-running show,” the insider explained before clarifying that a decision on its future has “definitely not” yet been made.