Do you consider yourself a feminist? Did you think HBO’s The Idol sucked? Well, Jane Adams, who played Nikki Katz—a cardboard cutout of a cliché record executive—in the series, has something to say: Fuck you.
In a new interview with Vanity Fair, the actress bemoaned the backlash against the worst-reviewed project of her career, specifically taking aim at the pesky women’s libbers who pointed out all of the ways The Idol purported to be a satire and revelatory exposé of celebrity exploitation but really only flashed some nipples at us.
“What is amazing to me is no one’s listening—I’ve not seen that before in all my days, such a dogged ‘We refuse to change the narrative,’” Adams ranted. “I especially want to say to all the feminists, ‘Go fuck yourself.’ All these women that I’m working with are talking about their experience and you’re not listening. You’re not listening!”
If you happened to suffer through The Idol’s five episodes, that quote likely unearths the memory of Katz’s diatribes denouncing feminist principles and the “college-educated internet people” whose intention it is to “cock-block America.”
“I love the show,” Adams told VF. “These days, to certain people, you almost have to apologize when you dislike something or you love something. I don’t really care anymore. That is one good thing about being a gray-haired lady—it’s almost like you get a license to not care.” I’m sorry, this is just getting downright spooky. Nikki Katz, is that you???
Adams went on to address the infamous Rolling Stone investigation that was published before the series even premiered, in which more than 10 production sources claimed it had devolved into “a shitshow” of rewrites, reshoots, and—from the sounds of it—really disturbing new directions, after Amy Seimetz, who was first set to direct the series, abruptly left. (Her version, I’ll note, looked pretty promising). But Adams instead blames the show’s issues on nothing other than America’s supposed obsession with being politically correct.
“I remember a certain PA just looking not happy, and I needed to get a cue from them—we’re working, and I’m going to notice if somebody seems like something’s wrong,” she told VF. “So I said, ‘Are you alright?’” The assistant, Adams recalled, said they were “upset” by the language used in a line she improvised. Apparently, this annoyed Adams—for creative purposes, of course. “We’re not going to be able to find funny stuff unless we can say whatever. People are self-censoring,” she said. “I can only speak from what I’ve observed and then speak for myself. I definitely am upset that I have to self-censor.” (Nowhere in this interview with a national magazine does Adams appear to censor herself.)
If her comments are giving 50-something aunt who’s claimed the cause of free speech because a millennial just informed her it was never acceptable to use the R-word, then Adams’ next comment are sets up a “debate me” table on a college campus level of unhinged: “Free speech is the license to offend, period, full stop. The funniest stuff, to me, is going to offend a group of people no matter what you do.” Interesting, I don’t recall laughing even once while watching The Idol. A snort might’ve passed through my nose when Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye’s character asserted he “ain’t gay” in Episode 3, but that’s it.
Adams went on to praise Sam Levinson (as a troubling number of women who work with him tend to), deem the opposition to the show “oppressive,” then—out loud—wonder if she sounds “out of touch.”
Unfortunately, Vanity Fair—which was practically a character in the show and has been one of few magazines to be granted exclusive interviews with its stars—did not appear to ask if Adams was still in character at the time of this sit-down.