Penn Badgley Said It's Disturbing That "You" Could Be "A Haven For Abusive People" After His Costar Chris D'Elia Was Accused Of Sexual Misconduct

    "The idea that a show like ours would indirectly, unwittingly be a haven for people who are abusive is disturbing."

    In an interview with the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday, Penn Badgley spoke about the allegations of sexual misconduct against his You costar Chris D'Elia, calling them "troubling" and "disturbing".

    Mike Pont / Getty Images

    In a statement to TMZ last week, D'Elia denied several accusations made on Twitter that he had knowingly engaged in sexual misconduct with underage girls.

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    "I know I have said and done things that might have offended people during my career, but I have never knowingly pursued any underage women at any point," the comedian said.

    He went on: "All of my relationships have been both legal and consensual and I have never met or exchanged any inappropriate photos with the people who have tweeted about me."

    In a series of tweets last Tuesday, a woman named Simoné Rossi posted screenshots allegedly from D'Elia asking her if they could meet up and "make out" when she was 16 years old. She also pointed out the "irony" that D'Elia had been cast in You as a comedian who preyed on underage girls.

    "I really am truly sorry," D'Elia told TMZ. "I was a dumb guy who absolutely let myself get caught up in my lifestyle. That’s my fault. I own it. I’ve been reflecting on this for some time now and I promise I will continue to do better."

    Rich Fury / Getty Images

    The LA Times confirmed that D'Elia has since been dropped by both his agent and his manager.

    Now Badgley — who stars as Joe Goldberg in You — has said while he "doesn't know" D'Elia, he was deeply affected and "very troubled" by the allegations.

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    "I was very troubled by it. I am very troubled by it," he told the LA Times' Can't Stop Watching podcast. "I don’t know Chris. I know that, if there’s anything we need to do in this age, it’s to believe women."

    "The idea that a show like ours would indirectly, unwittingly be a haven for people who are abusive is disturbing," Badgley went on. "It’s very disturbing."

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    "What does it take to change that?" he asked. "Because it’s not just vetting individuals."

    He went on: "There needs to be a change in culture and attitude so that that kind of behaviour is so clearly reprehensible, it’s so clearly, like, anti-human ... I know that at least our show thinks about things in a dismantling, deconstructive manner. I would hope that at least our show is not serving to uphold these kind of, like, bunk ways of being and these systems."

    He also said the "first thing" producers of the show did after hearing the allegations was reach out to Jenna Ortega, who played Ellie, the underage victim of D'Elia's character Henderson, on Season 2 of You.

    Netflix

    "The first thing our producers did was reach out to Jenna, who played Ellie, the girl opposite Chris in those scenes, just to make sure she felt safe," Badgley said. "We can feel safe and sound there."

    "As far as our show is concerned, as far as we’re concerned, there’s only so much we can take responsibility for," he added.

    Read the full excerpt of Badgley's LA Times interview here.

    Ellie Bate is a celebrity reporter and talent coordinator at BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.

    Contact Ellie Bate at eleanor.bate@buzzfeed.com.

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