HBO Cancels Teen-Targeted Pornographic Show ‘The Idol’ After Pressure from PTC

Written by PTC | Published August 29, 2023

LOS ANGELES (August 29, 2023) – The Parents Television and Media Council (PTC) welcomed the news that HBO cancelled The Idol, which the PTC had warned parents about. TV critics described the The Idol as “pornographic,” a “sordid male fantasy,” a “darker, crazier, and more risqué version” of HBO’sEuphoria.

“We are glad HBO heeded our calls to cancel The Idol, toxic sexually explicit fare targeted to teens. The program’s extreme and disturbing content – nudity, sexual abuse, torture – can be harmful to young viewers. Despite HBO’s glamorization of the program and its cast, the show sunk into such depravity that even its audience turned against it, causing HBO to shorten its run by an episode and now, by cancelling it outright. We hope HBO has learned that marketing explicit content to teens is a losing scenario,” said Melissa Henson, vice president of the Parents Television and Media Council.

The PTC had called on HBO’s streaming platform MAX to stop marketing The Idol to youth through social media, and to shore up wide gaps in its parental “controls” that enable youth to watch The Idol and other explicit TV-MA content like Euphoria.

Videos tagged with #theidol on TikTok – one of the most popular social media sites with tweens and teens – have racked-up more than 1.2 BILLION views. There were more than 120 variations on that hashtag, adding up to millions more views.

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