Penn Badgley on Why People Find His Character in “You” Attractive; “How Far Are We Willing To Go To Forgive An Evil White Man?”

The hit Netflix series, “You” has returned for season 2, following its departure from Lifetime. While fans are rejoicing, the series star, Penn Badgley got very candid about his disdain for the character Joe, the serial killer and stalker whom Badgley portrays.

During a one on one with actress Gina Rodriguez for Variety’s Actors on Actors segment, Badgley called out societies forgiveness of white men as the reason why his hellish character is admired so much, especially amongst women viewers.

“I think the logline on Lifetime was ‘How far are you willing to go for love?” But I was always like, “No, that’s not what that is.” To me it’s like, “How far are we willing to go to forgive an evil white man?” he said to Rodriguez.

He continued, stating “Somehow people find it more roguish and charming. It’s like, “I’m killing people in the next scene.” And maybe there’s something to that, that we’re not evolved enough yet not to be attracted. This is the evil-white-man thing. The cultural norms incline us to forgive a certain kind of person, namely, someone who looks like myself, less so someone who looks like you. The titular character in my case is someone who is doing unforgivable things, and yet we keep performing backflips to figure out how it is that we’re going to forgive him.”

The suspenseful series originally aired on Lifetime. However, due to low ratings and high filming costs, the basic cable company decided to pass on a second season of the show. Netflix revealed that “You” was on pace to reach 40 million households within its first four weeks of streaming, well over the 1.1 million average viewers who tuned in during its run on Lifetime.

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