Penn Badgley responds to ‘You’ sex scenes backlash: “It got blown out of proportion”
(Credit: Netflix)


Penn Badgley responds to 'You' sex scenes backlash: "It got blown out of proportion"

In February this year, Penn Badgley, the star of the hit Netflix series You, caused a media storm when he revealed that he refuses to act in sex scenes.

“That aspect of Hollywood has always been very disturbing to me — and that aspect of the job, that mercurial boundary — has always been something that I actually don’t want to play with at all,” he told Variety just as the fourth season of You was about to launch.

“It’s important to me in my real life to not have them,” Badgley added about not committing in sex scenes. “My fidelity in my relationship. It’s important to me. And actually, [sex scenes] was one of the reasons that I initially wanted to turn the role down [in ‘You’]. I didn’t tell anybody that. But that is why.”

The actor’s comments polarised fans, with some criticizing him for equating real sex with sex scenes. Others pointed out that intimacy coordinators are now omnipresent in Hollywood to ensure that sex scenes remain safe for all those involved.

Now, in a new interview with GQBadgley has addressed the backlash, asserting that it all got “blown out of proportion”.

“What I was speaking about wasn’t actually the final product,” he said. “It was sort of like the culture inherent to the production of all movies, but particularly those scenes. It’s like, look, we know that Hollywood has had a history of flagrant exploitation and abuse.”

He then said that he was “nervous to even have that conversation” with You‘s showrunner, Sera Gamble, continuing: “It was not easy. It was easy because of Sera’s response, and I felt relieved. But technically speaking, if I thought I’d had the ability to set that boundary earlier, I would have. We shall see if setting that boundary, of course, has any ramifications. Just simply, it does limit the number of projects you can be a part of.”

Whilst You did have some sex scenes over its first three seasons, its star has maintained that his refusal to do them for season four “didn’t change the trajectory of the season at all.” He concluded, “I mean, Joe was naturally ready to not be in that position anymore.”

Both parts of You season four are now streaming on Netflix.