Penn Badgley is the definition of crush-worthy (as anyone who’s seen Gossip Girl can attest). However, the actor is taking issue with fans who are crushing on him in his current Lifetime show, You…for good reason. Warning: The following contains spoilers.
For the uninitiated, You is based on a novel of the same name by Caroline Kepnes. It stars Badgley as Joe, a bookstore manager who becomes infatuated with aspiring writer Guinevere (played by Elizabeth Lail). Badgley’s character harnesses the power of social media to “gather the most intimate details” about Guinevere—aka stalk her. But his obsession doesn’t stop there, and The Hollywood Reporter notes that he ends up killing several people, including the object of his obsession.
That hasn’t stopped viewers of the show from lusting after Badgley’s character, though. As Vulture puts it: “You’ll spend most of You wondering if Penn Badgley is hotter as a sociopath.” And a number of Twitter users agree.
Badgley, however, is (understandably) uncomfortable with this reaction to his character. He recently took to Twitter to address the situation.
Look, we sort of get it: Penn Badgley is hot. But Joe’s behavior on You is not. Romanticizing dangerous behavior can have dangerous consequences, like helping to normalize violence and abuse. There’s nothing sexy about a man stalking a woman and leaving dead people in his wake. We’re glad Badgley took it upon himself to help point this out.