In a new interview, Penn Badgley talked about #MeToo and revealed that he has been “molested” by crazed fans after Gossip Girl shot to fame.
Badgley played Dan Humphries in the popular TV show Gossip Girl, which aired for five years. In a recent interview with the Daily Beast, Badgley talked about how the crazed fans of the show treated him in public, and how they often crossed over into inappropriateness.
He said that he became the object of “pretty full-on obsession” after he came into the spotlight. He said, “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. Because that’s what they do.”
While talking about the issue, Badgley made sure to acknowledge that as a white man, he was lucky to have had his space respected much more than would have been in any other situation. He talked about the impact of the #MeToo movement on men, saying, “You’re led as a man, particularly, that when it happens you should feel great about it. Particularly when it comes from someone who’s feasibly an object of your desire as well.”
“And I think that’s the interesting thing about this show, is that Joe looks like me, he acts and talks like me to a degree, so I think the audience is supposed to be like, ‘Aw that might be nice if someone was that infatuated with me.’”
Badgley took two years off from acting after the end of Gossip Girl.