HBO Under Pressure to Cancel The Idol

Written by PTC | Published June 26, 2023

LOS ANGELES (June 26, 2023) – In light of the news that The Idol’s first season will only be five episodes, the Parents Television and Media Council (PTC) is calling on HBO not to renew The Idol for a second season, given the program’s extreme content – nudity, sexual abuse, torture – that can be harmful to young viewers.

The PTC has 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.

The Idol has been rightfully panned by TV critics because each episode delves deeper into ‘torture porn’ and sexual abuse. Far from enlightening, the show has sunk into such depravity that even its niche audience has clearly turned against it, otherwise, why would HBO only air five of the expected six episodes? HBO should run far from this Sam Levinson-produced program that glamorizes and egregiously markets extreme sexual abuse to teens by refusing to renew it for a second season,” said Melissa Henson, vice president of the Parents Television and Media Council.

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 are more than 120 variations on that hashtag, adding up to millions more views.

TV critics have slammed The Idol, citing it as “pornographic,” a “sordid male fantasy,” a “darker, crazier, and more risqué version” of HBO’s Euphoria.

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