/‘The Idol’ Aired ‘The Worst Sex Scene In History,’ According To GQ — And Twitter

‘The Idol’ Aired ‘The Worst Sex Scene In History,’ According To GQ — And Twitter

On Sunday, HBO aired Episode 2 of its new show “The Idol,” which in its final 10 minutes features a sex scene between its two main characters — Jocelyn (Lily-Rose Depp) and Tedros (Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye) — that is so cringy that it could act as a PSA for abstinence.

It was so uncomfortable to watch and so laden with male-gaze absurdity that GQ dubbed it “the worst sex scene in history” on Monday. In the magazine’s article criticizing the unsexy sex scene, GQ describes Tesfaye’s performance as having “all the energy and sexual enticement of Gollum scurrying for a fish” and “leaving the heavy lifting to its lead starlet who bears all the brunt of trying to titillate the audience while telling us that women like to be exploited, actually.”

Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye as Tedros and Lily-Rose Depp as Jocelyn.
Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye as Tedros and Lily-Rose Depp as Jocelyn.

“The Idol,” which was co-created by the “Blinding Lights” singer and “Euphoria” creator Sam Levinson, attracted controversy before it even aired earlier this month. In March, Rolling Stone published a report in which anonymous sources from the show’s cast and crew called the project a “toxic” man’s “rape fantasy.”

Sources told Rolling Stone that the show took a turn for the worse when Levinson took over directing duties from Amy Seimetz of “The Girlfriend Experience” and “She Dies Tomorrow,” who suddenly left after roughly 80% of the six-episode series was finished. The sources said that under Levinson’s leadership, the show’s initial message about “a woman who was finding herself sexually” morphed into a story about “a man who gets to abuse this woman and she loves it.”

Episode 2’s sex scene seems to add validity to those complaints. In the scene (which you could watch a clip of here if you’re craving a jolt of second-hand embarrassment), Tedros is seen crouching behind a chair and whispering lackluster sexual commands he’d like Jocelyn to perform on herself as he watches. These include, but are not limited to, a standard “open your legs” and a bonkers “put your finger down your throat, make that throat wet for me.” It also features Depp’s character ravenously sticking her fingers in her mouth and gagging.

Sex between Jocelyn and Tedros isn’t actually seen and is left to the audience’s imagination, but ends with Jocelyn lying completely topless in a bed while Tedros is “still buttoned-up to the neck,” as GQ writer Lucy Ford put it.

Twitter users bashed the scene as well — and some even urged Tesfaye to stick to singing.

Tesfaye, however, seems fine with the criticism, telling GQ in a separate interview published Tuesday that the ick factor in the sex scene was intentional, and that it was meant to have “nothing sexy about it.”

“How ever 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,” Tesfaye said of Tedros.

He added that the show intends to slowly reveal that despite how Jocelyn views Tedros, there’s actually “nothing really mysterious or hypnotizing about him” and that he’s “despicable, a psychopath.”

“And we did that on purpose with his look, his outfits, his hair — the guy’s a douchebag,” Tesfaye said. “You can tell he cares so much about what he looks like, and he thinks he looks good. But then you see these weird moments of him alone—he rehearses, he’s calculated. And he needs to do that, or he has nothing, he’s pathetic. Which is true of a lot of people who are a fish out of water, put into these scenarios.”

He added that the sex scene was supposed to act as a glimpse into who Tedros truly is.

“He can’t believe he’s there. He comes off like such a loser,” Tesfaye said. “Those moments are the humanity that you find in a psychopath, the chink in his armor.”

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