In an upcoming episode of the Los Angeles Times podcast Can't Stop Watching, You actor Penn Badgley reacts to the accusations of inappropriate sexual conduct against his season 2 co-star, Chris D'Elia. Last week, a number of women came forward on Twitter to accuse the comedian of asking them for nude pictures when they were underage. D'Elia has denied the allegations, but Badgley told the outlet that he found them "troubling" and "disgusting" and reflected on what role You may have had in encouraging the alleged behavior.
"I know that, if there’s anything we need to do in this age, it’s to believe women," he said, later adding, "Certainly, I think of my own conduct, and I am thankful that I have tried to uphold a certain level of conduct throughout my life. I also am thinking about how to somehow not — the idea that a show like ours would indirectly, unwittingly be a haven for people who are abusive is disturbing. There needs to be a change in culture and attitude so that that kind of behavior is so clearly reprehensible, it’s so clearly, like, anti-human."
The accusations against D'Elia kicked off after Twitter user Simone Rossi pointed out how ironic it was that he played a pedophile on the Netflix series before sharing her own experience, in which she and the actor emailed and he allegedly asked her for photos and to "make out."
"It took me a long time to realize what happened to me wasn’t just a funny joke to tell at parties," Rossi told Refinery29 over Twitter DM about her allegations against D'Elia. "I was being preyed on, and when you’re that young, and especially when you’re talking to someone so famous, you think it’s cool and exciting."
A number of other women, including five who spoke to the Los Angeles Times, accused D'Elia of similar behavior, and in one instance, of exposing himself to them.
"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," he said. "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."
D'Elia's character was killed off in season 2 of the Netflix series, so he won't be returning to the role. Places like Comedy Central have also removed an episode of Workaholics in which D'Elia appears, also as a child molester.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).