Comedian Chris D'Elia, who has made appearances on You and Whitney, was recently accused of sexual misconduct. On June 16, several women on Twitter accused D'Elia of soliciting photos and/or sex from them, with some of those women claiming that they were much younger than the comedian at the time and others alleging that they were underage. In light of this news, D'Elia's You co-star Penn Badgley has spoken out about the matter.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Badgley took part in an interview for their Can't Stop Watching podcast and the conversation turned towards the allegations against his You co-star, D'Elia, who portrayed a comedian who drugged and assaulted young women in Season 2 of the show. During the interview, Badgley reportedly situated the claims against D'Elia in the context of systemic problems such as toxic masculinity and the abuse of women, which are two subjects at the center of the Netflix series on which he stars. He said, “The idea that a show like ours would indirectly, unwittingly be a haven for people who are abusive is disturbing. It’s very disturbing." Badgley then went on to share that society needs to look closely at those aforementioned systemic issues in order to enact real change.
“What is really important is to recognize ... the practices, the regulations, the laws that underwrite every one of these systems that act as a haven for the individuals that take advantage, namely white men,” the actor continued. He also said that the "level of change we're looking for" should not be exclusively about bringing individuals to justice. It should also be noted that Badgley said that the producers of You reached out to actor Jenna Ortega, who shared the screen with D'Elia, "to make sure she felt safe."
As previously mentioned, several women alleged that D'Elia had engaged in sexual misconduct. One of those individuals, Simone Rossi, penned a thread on Twitter in which she alleged that she had engaged in an inappropriate conversation with D'Elia when she was 16 years old. She claimed that the comedian asked her for a "pic" and to "make out" at various times. She wrote that the two did not meet up in person. In response to these allegations, D'Elia issued a statement to TMZ in which he denied all of the accusations against him.
"I know I have said and done things that might have offended people during my career, but I have never knowingly pursued any underage women at any point," D'Elia told the publication. "All of my relationships have been both legal and consensual and I have never met or exchanged any inappropriate photos with the people who have tweeted about me." He added, "That being said, I really am truly sorry. I was a dumb guy who ABSOLUTELY let myself get caught up in my lifestyle. That’s MY fault. I own it. I’ve been reflecting on this for some time now and I promise I will continue to do better."