The highly criticized HBO show “The Idol” is in hot water yet again after Sunday’s episode included an “appalling” joke about convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
The series — co-created by The Weeknd, “Euphoria” director Sam Levinson and Reza Fahim — has faced mounting backlash for lead Lily-Rose Depp showing “too much” nudity and the “Save Your Tears” singer’s “comically bad” acting.
But Episode 3, titled “Daybreak,” crossed a line with viewers when Eli Roth’s character, Andrew Finkelstein, says Depp’s fictional pop star, Jocelyn, is “making [him] have IBS,” adding, “I’m f–kin’ s–tting more blood than a kid at Epstein’s island.”
A shocked audience flooded Twitter to slam the show for making light of the Caribbean home where Epstein allegedly trafficked and then sexually abused young women and underage girls.
“Okay, the Epstein’s Island comment was too far for me in the new episode of The Idol Let’s not joke about child trafficking,” one person tweeted.
“Nah it’s not an edgy joke, these are real victims with real suffering. I can forgive bad acting, writing, & Abel’s teeth+tail combo; but I draw the line at CSA [child sexual abuse] being a punchline #THEIDOL #TheIdolHBO,” a second wrote.
“That Epstein line in the idol is sickening,” a third agreed viewer.
“‘I’m sh–tting more blood than a kid at epstein’s island’- an actual quote said by someone in this episode of THE IDOL… this show is a f–king joke,” a fourth added.
“Sam Levinson on the Idol making a joke about kids in Epstein Island. What the actual f–k is wrong with you? It’s fucking disgusting that someone [thought] ‘this might be a good joke,'” a fifth netizen agreed.
“The Epstein line that I just heard on Episode 3 of The Idol is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever heard on TV,” someone else wrote.
“Really tried to give The Idol a chance but ep 3 really ruined it for me w that Epstein Island joke…” a former fan tweeted.
“I’ve been enjoying The Idol, but the Epstein’s island joke was tasteless AF,” one more echoed.
While Depp, 24, has received high praise for her portrayal of a singer trying to make a comeback after having a mental breakdown, The Weeknd, who plays creepy rat-tailed club owner Tedros, has been scrutinized. His acting has been brutally deemed “highly comical” as well as “nonexistent.”
The graphic show was already off to a rocky start prior to its premiere when sources close to production told Rolling Stone in April that “The Idol” had turned into “torture porn” and a “rape fantasy” behind the scenes. Meanwhile, others claimed the set was chaotic and a toxic work environment during filming.
But the daughter of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis shut down the chatter, stating that the show’s director, Levinson, 38, was the “best” she had ever worked with.
“Never have I felt more supported or respected in a creative space, my input and opinions more valued,” Lily-Rose told Page Six in a statement at the time.
“Working with Sam is a true collaboration in every way — it matters to him, more than anything, not only what his actors think about the work, but how we feel performing it,” she added.
“He hires people whose work he esteems and has always created an environment in which I felt seen, heard and appreciated.”
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But after the show’s debut on June 4, the criticism has only grown louder.
Intimacy coordinator Marci Liroff found the first episode to be “appalling” and had a “very visceral reaction” to a scene in which her fictional counterpart was locked in a bathroom against his will as Jocelyn posted naked for an album cover shoot.
By Episode 2, the show had lost more than 100,000 viewers.
A source told Page Six exclusively last week that the fate of “The Idol” was up in the air; however, an HBO insider insisted the network was not surprised by the fallout.
“It’s a Sam Levinson show, and you know what you’re getting with a Sam Levinson show,” the HBO source said.
The Weeknd, 33, has since defended his character, acknowleding there is “nothing sexy” about the sex scenes in the show.
“However you’re feeling watching that scene, whether it’s discomfort, or you feel gross, or you feel embarrassed for the characters. It’s all those emotions adding up to: this guy is in way over his head, this situation is one where he is not supposed to be here,” he told GQ of Tedros.