Sam Levinson is an American director, producer, and screenwriter known for creating an epitome of perfection, Euphoria. Despite his success in the Hollywood industry, Levinson has taken a seat on the table of controversies.
These controversies have painted a rather troubling picture of Euphoria’s sole writer which makes us question a lot of things. One of them being, is he really a good writer or does he grab his ideas off of somewhere else. Sprinkle some nude scenes and then mould it into one episode?
The Assassination Nation writer has had his fair share of controversies.
In 2019, Levinson was criticized for his film The Assassination Nation. Right after its release, the movie received backlash for being “Levinson’s bloody social satire” that was only about money. The movie received criticism for its gore scenes and portrayal of women. Some critics straight-up thought of it as “torture porn.”
Apart from that, Levinson was also accused of putting his Euphoria case at risk. This was based on him filming during the COVID-19 pandemic without following safety measures. Moreover, the director also received backlash for making derogatory comments about Lukas Gage’s apartment.
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Levinson is somehow always trending on Twitter but never for good reasons.
One of his recent controversies centers on his new HBO show The Idol. It stars Lily Rose Depp and Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, a.k.a the Weeknd.
Overall, Levinson has faced several controversies throughout his career. Ranging from accusations of plagiarism to casting controversies and safety concerns. While some of these controversies have led to changes or apologies from Levinson, others have continued to spark criticism and debate.
Sam Levinson’s History of Controversies in Euphoria
Sam Levinson’s Euphoria stormed over the internet as one of the decade’s popular shows. However, despite its success, the show has managed to attract a lead role in the town of controversies. And that is majorly because of Sam Levinson.
Starting from glamorizing the use of drugs to showcasing graphic sex scenes, Levinson’s Euphoria has had the best of both worlds. With experiencing highest of highs and lowest of lows.
The Euphoria creator has been accused of portraying woman in a way that he wants to. Barbie Ferreira’s character in Euphoria was supposed to bloom in other directions. However, the creator was adamant on portraying his version of Kat’s story. This caused an uproar between Levinson and Barbie.
Before Barbie Ferreira signed off as Katharine Hernandez, fans noticed how little time and representation she got in Euphoria’s season 2.
The former Euphoria actor announced her departure in a statement with words:
“After four years of getting to embody the most special and enigmatic character Kat, I’m having to say a very teary-eyed goodbye. I hope many of you could see yourself in her like I did and that she brought you joy to see her journey into the character she is today. I put all my care and love into her and I hope you guys could feel it. Love you Katherine Hernandez.”
And that is not all.
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Sam Levinson: Objectifying Women?
Levinson also seemed to spark some flames with Euphoria’s Cassie actor, Sydney Sweeney. The actress came forward about her hesitation to film nude scenes in an interview with The Independent. Sweeney claimed that Levinson had wanted her to be shirtless in scenes that were uncalled for the nudity.
Sweeney said that she had to point it out to Levinson that it was unnecessary for her to go topless in a scene like that with the words, “There are moments where Cassie was supposed to be shirtless, and I would tell Sam, ‘I don’t really think that’s necessary here.”
Following with, “He was like, ‘OK, we don’t need it’. I’ve never felt like Sam has pushed it on me or was trying to get a nude scene into an HBO show. When I didn’t want to do it, he didn’t make me.”
But if there is one thing this says about Levinson as a writer is his shallow portrayal about women that seeks to objectify them.
Sydney Sweeney is not the only person who has come forward with reluctance to be naked on the camera. Many Euphoria stars including Minka Kelly (who plays Samantha), Martha Kelly (starring as Laurie) and Chloe Cherry (playing Faye) came forth with how Levinson wanted to insert an element of nudity in their scenes.
Sam Livinson: Exploitation
Apart from all that, Levinson was also accused with claims of exploitation. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Coleman Domingo said, “Every single time I’ve been on that set, there’s so much care, so much love, so much creative energy. The reality is that in the television space, we usually shoot 12- to 16-hour days. That’s just the norm across the board, and I’ve never had one problem.”
Which implies that cast is required to be on set every day for a maximum of 16 hours, which is A LOT!
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Sam Levinson’s Take on ‘The Idol’
HBO’s new show, The Idol has been causing an uproar among the audience with Abel Tesfaye and Lily Rose Depp as the main leads. Originally, the show was set to be directed by Amy Seimetz who is famously known to direct The Girlfriend Experience and a few episodes of Stranger Things.
However, the show changed its course when Amy dropped out of The Idol and was replaced by Sam Levinson.
With Sam Levinson’s involvement, the show has been taking quite a while to release. Moreover, reports suggest that Levinson’s attempts to change the storyline are largely causing the delay. The show was originally about a woman who was trying to find herself sexually within the Hollywood industry. But with Levinson’s involvement, the show switched from a female-centric perspective to a more male-centric perspective.
According to The Rolling Stone’s recent report, The Idol is “going off rails” to surpass Euphoria in terms of explicit content. Levinson’s take on HBO’s upcoming show has transformed it into a sadistic show. Which showcases the concept that violence is okay.
Sam Levinson: Anti-Feminist?
Once again, Levinson attempts to glamorize a problematic subject without any bounds. In The Idol, he has largely changed the storyline (which was about 80% complete when Amy Seimetz left) and attempted to glorify “male dominant” culture.
The American producer has highlighted sadistic abuse in a positive light where the main lead, played by the Weeknd, abuses Lily Rose Depp, while she enjoys it.
The Idol has largely received criticism as a “sexual torture porn” series for this reason.
That is not all.
Levinson’s involvement in the show has managed to surpass all boundaries and glorify rape. If that isn’t a red flag enough to boycott the American producer, I don’t know what is!
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In an interview with The Rolling Stone, a production member from The Idol came forward and said there was a scene where the female protagonist allegedly begs the male lead to “rape” her. However, that specific scene did not proceed to be a part of the production because the team could not find a way to make the situation “realistically possible.”
In the same interview, one production member said, “It was like any rape fantasy that any toxic man would have in the show. And then the woman comes back for more because it makes her music better.”
Upon The Rolling Stone’s report release, fans have been surfacing on Twitter and criticizing Levinson’s involvement in the show. They have been calling him out as a sexual pervert who knows nothing but to impose his own sexual fantasies in his shows.
The Idol’s main lead, the Weeknd, took to Instagram and clapped back on The Rolling Stone’s expose by captioning his post, “@RollingStone did we upset you?”
Sam Levinson has proved to be a package of red flags within the Hollywood industry. He has not only took a stance to illustrate pedophilia, drugs consumption, and now abuse in a glorified light. But has never sought to apologize. Moreover, his controversies will lead us to one solution only. That man should never be let near a paper and pen ever again. Normalizing problematic phenomenon is not okay and he should be called out!