Home Entertainment News HBO’s ‘The Idol’ Is ‘Hostile to Feminism,’ Media Experts Say

HBO’s ‘The Idol’ Is ‘Hostile to Feminism,’ Media Experts Say


HBO's latest Sunday night drama series, ‘The Idol,' has drawn criticism from media experts and advocacy groups for its regressive and anti-feminist portrayal of women. The Wrap spoke with four prominent voices in the media industry, as well as the Parents Television and Media Council, to discuss the impact of the controversial show. In the wake of calls for cancellation from various organizations, concerns have been raised regarding HBO's decision to air the series created by Sam Levinson, Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye, and Reza Fahim.

After four weeks on air, ‘The Idol' has been characterized by leading feminist voices as regressive, hostile to feminism, and mere male fantasy. Critics have described the show as disempowering, reducing women to objects and portraying them as disposable. The concerns voiced by these experts echo the sentiments expressed by the Parents Television and Media Council, adding weight to the argument against the series.

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, renowned author of ‘When Women Invented Television' and ‘Pop Star Goddesses,' expressed skepticism about the show's approach to exploiting sexuality while simultaneously trying to comment on its exploitation. She suggested that such a message may not be relevant or impactful in the current cultural climate. Armstrong's viewpoint was shared by other experts, including Nina Menkes, of “Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-,” who described ‘The Idol' as mocking feminism and treating women as mere objects.

As the controversy surrounding ‘The Idol' intensifies, criticism of its anti-feminist themes continues to grow. With media experts and advocacy groups questioning HBO's decision to air the show, the network may face mounting pressure to reevaluate its programming choices. The backlash against ‘The Idol' underscores the importance of creating content that empowers women and contributes positively to the ongoing dialogue around gender equality.

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