‘You’ Star Penn Badgley Blames Netflix for Romanticizing Serial Killers and Tells Viewers to Look Inside for Finding Them Attractive

Published 02/14/2023, 10:00 PM EST

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Penn Badgley returned with the classic guilty pleasure, You, on February 9. The streamer released part 1, with part 2 arriving on March 9. Although the show has not earned any critical acclaim, it garnered enough views for Netflix to green-light three more seasons. Viewers just could not get enough of obsessive lover Joe Goldberg. Even though he plays a stalker, make no mistake, the actor is not down with the idea of loving a serial killer.

Netflix has no dearth of true crime documentaries nor does it lack attractive serial killers. The digital platform has achieved a reputation for glorifying violent killers and fans eating that up like Evan Peters in MONSTER: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. Recently, when the star sat down for a quick chat, he made it a note to lambast the streamer for romanticizing the psychos. 

Penn Badgley puts the blame squarely on Netflix and viewers for idolizing convicted murderers


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Penn Badgley was asked about his take on fans finding serial killers like his You character, Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Bundy attractive in a recent chat with Entertainment Tonight. The Gossip alum star quickly advised the viewers to look inside them to find the answer, indicating there is something wrong with them. 

Ted Bundy? That’s on you! Jeffrey Dahmer? That’s on—that’s on Netflix, OK? That is squarely on the shoulders of Netflix!” Badgley said in his Entertainment Tonight interview. He stated that it’s the streamer’s fault for softening these characters and for viewers to romanticize them, knowing their deeds fully well.


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But he offered an explanation for Joe Goldberg’s charm. He defended Joe, explaining that the character was created with the idea to make viewers root for him despite his red flags. Joe is a fictional character, while Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer are real-life killers. That said, he is very conscious about ensuring his fans know how problematic Joe is. He is equally vocal about the effect his career may have on his personal life and vice versa.

The 36-year-old requested fewer intimate scenes in season 4 

The fourth installment has less steamy scenes in part due to Penn feeling uncomfortable about it. The actor, who has been married to Domino Kirke since 2017, requested You showrunner Sera Gamble to reduce the number of sex scenes, citing marriage and the importance of fidelity as the reason behind this decision.


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The actor previously felt he was limiting his career if he wasn’t willing to do sex scenes, but now he has stopped worrying about it. 

Do you agree with Badgley’s statements? Share your thoughts with us.



Srabani Biswas

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Srabani Biswas is a writer at Netflix Junkie. She is a sociology graduate from Lady Brabourne College. Previously, she has contributed to Sports India Show and The Sports Room as a sports writer, and interned at Ripples Learning.