Penn Badgley calls out Netflix for viewers falling in love with serial killers

'You' star Penn Badgley has suggested Netflix is at least partly to blame for people falling in love with real life serial killers on screen.



Penn Badgley stars as Joe Goldberg in You
Penn Badgley stars as Joe Goldberg in You

Penn Badgley has called out Netflix for people falling in love with serial killers on screen.

The 36-year-old star - who plays fictional murderer Joe Goldberg in 'You' on the streaming service - has weighed in on viewers' fascination with real life killers featured in TV and movies, with recent projects including Zac Efron as Ted Bundy in 'Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile' and Evan Peters' role in 'Dahmer - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story'.

Asked about people's attraction towards problematic men, he told 'Entertainment Tonight': "You need to look at that inside.

Now, to be fair, with our show you're meant to fall in love with him. That's on us.

"Ted Bundy? That's on you! Jeffrey Dahmer? That is on you - that is on Netflix," he doubled down. That is squarely on the shoulders of Netflix.

"I don't have answers at this point. I do, but they're long and... yeah, it's weird, man. That's what our show is exploring."

After 'You' first aired in 2019, Penn addressed viewers' attraction to Joe and described the character as "a great cultural touchpoint" to show what still needs to be done.

He explained: "We, as the creators of the show, and me, as the actor, certainly want to take responsibility for him being likable in the way that he is.

“I don’t want to just say that it’s problematic and that the viewers themselves have a problematic reaction, I think what’s inspiring about it is that at a time when we’re striving for the empowerment of women and for the equality of men and women, that we are also simultaneously able to be transfixed and charmed by a character like Joe.

"It speaks to how deeply ingrained a lot of these standards and norms are where we love to see a guy behaving like him. In a way, Joe is a great cultural touchpoint to say, ‘We still have a lot of work to do.’ ”