Why Amy Seimetz left The Idol: Controversy explained

Kayla Harrington
Lily Rose Depp as Jocelyn in The Idol

With Episode 3 of The Idol dropping on HBO, here’s an explainer on why Amy Seimetz exited from her role as the show’s director.

Max’s new drama The Idol has been plagued with an incredible amount of scandals for a show that has only just arrived. From intense reshoots to early reviews of the show being called “graphic,” it seems like The Idol has a lot going against it.

However, one of its biggest scandals coming from the show is the behind-the-scenes exit of the show’s first director Amy Seimetz. There have been rumors and allegations on why Seimetz left, and Sam Levinson, the creator of Euphoria, including trying to make a more misogynist vision for the show and scrapping Seimetz’s woman-led story arc.

Here’s everything we know about Amy Seimetz’s departure from The Idol.

Seimetz’s exit had to do a major creative overhaul

In a statement given to Deadline, a spokesperson from Max (formerly HBO Max) explained that the show was “evolving” its creative vision for the show, stating, “The Idol’s creative team continues to build, refine, and evolve their vision for the show and they have aligned on a new creative direction. The production will be adjusting its cast and crew accordingly to best serve this new approach to the series.”

The adjustment to the show’s crew was noticeable when Seimetz, the co-creator of The Girlfriend Experience, left her position as director and the reins were given to Sam Levinson, who has been a Max favorite since he created and directed their hit show Euphoria.

Lily-Rose Depp and The Weeknd in The Idol on HBO

Rolling Stone published an explosive article that detailed Seimetz’ sudden exit when roughly 80% of the six-episode series was already finished. One way the show was shifting its creative vision were alleged reports that Abel Tesfaye (aka The Weeknd), a co-creator of The Idol, felt the show was heading too much into a “female perspective.”

Tesfaye alleged issue with the scripts and Levinson taking over as director led the two of them to scrap the nearly-finished $54-75 million project to rewrite and reshoot the entire thing. This caused drastic delays that led crew members not to know when the show would come out as they were left in the dark.

In response to Rolling Stone’s reporting, Tesfaye trolled the publication by posting a clip from The Idol to his Twitter in which his character calls them “irrelevant” and accusing their Instagram followers of being “bots.”


Levinson and Rose-Depp also responded to Rolling Stone during a panel at Cannes in which Levinson said, “When my wife read me the article, I looked at her and I just said, ‘I think we’re about to have the biggest show of the summer.’ And in terms of the specifics of what was in it, it just felt completely foreign to me,” per Yahoo.com.

Rose-Depp expressed how “sad and disheartening [it was] to see mean, false things [about people she cares about]” and said the allegations brought up by Rolling Stone “wasn’t reflective at all of [her] experience shooting the show.”

While fans will never know what exactly happened behind the scenes of The Idol and why exactly Seimetz left, the product of Levinson, Tesfaye, and Rose-Depp will be on display for all to see this June. It’s sure to be one chaotic and wild mess no matter who was behind the camera.

The Idol Episode 2 will be available to stream from June 11. Check out our other coverage below: