Penn Badgley is walking back comments he made about being touched inappropriately.
“The point of my comment was not to confess a personal trauma,” Badgley said in a statement to People. “I was speaking about the way emotional and physical boundaries are violated for someone in the public eye, who is seen as an object of desire. Depending on so many factors, it can range from conscious abuse to something very unconscious — and that is the point I was making, cautiously, in the context of a conversation about fanaticism and cultural norms which support manipulative or abusive behavior. These are the same norms which support predatory men, but not exclusively predatory men. They affect, and infect, us all.”
Badgley starred on the CW’s “Gossip Girl” from 2007 to 2012.
The actor’s original comments in question were published in a profile by The Daily Beast, in which he said he had been “molested” by “many people in the moment.”
“I think as an actor you can become an object of desire, which is something women are already accustomed to more or less around the world — I’ve definitely been, I mean I don’t want to sound sensationalist, but I’ve literally been molested — just in the literal sense of the word — by many people in the moment,” he said. “Because that’s what they do.”
According to the article, Badgley also mentioned Terry Crews, who went public in October 2017 with allegations that a Hollywood executive had groped him at an industry event. Badgley told the outlet, “these things very much happen, you know.”
Badgley currently stars on Lifetime’s television series “You,” in which he plays a bookstore employee who becomes obsessed with a customer.