Penn Badgley calls for representation in film and TV

December 22, 2018 GMT

Penn Badgley has called for better representation of different ethnic groups in movies and TV.

The 32-year-old actor - who plays protagonist Joe Goldberg in the upcoming Netflix series ‘You’, which sees a bookshop manager become obsessed with an aspiring female writer (Elizabeth Lail) - says the time is right to move away from stories dominated by white characters and tell the stories of previously marginalized ethnic groups.

Speaking to PinkNews.co.uk, Badgley said: “If anybody exists at any kind of intersection of oppression beyond the box of white male, I’d say let’s make damn sure that they’re being represented by the people who have lived this experience [and] not have people who haven’t lived the experience portraying them. Because then at the end of the day you’re getting a real portrayal.”


Scarlett Johansson recently came under fire after she was cast in a transgender role for the upcoming film ‘Rug & Tug’, and ultimately backed out due to mounting criticism, with people calling for a trans actor to play the trans role.

Opening up about if he agrees that a trans star should have got the part, Badgley said: “Yeah, I actually really like that idea, I do. I mean, I think there are a lot of people who would say, ‘Well, it’s actually and therefore...’ Yes, I think theoretically the idea that anybody should be able to play anybody is true. That’s only in theory.”

The ‘Gossip Girl’ heartthrob also confessed he is aware his “white privileged’, “male” status which helps him get chosen for roles, but he would like to see a society where there are equal opportunities for everyone.

He said: “In reality, we have basically, like, privileged ass white people playing everybody, and so we need to stop that. In theory, in a totally just society, yeah, anybody can play anybody and that would be great. But that’s not the world we live in. We live in a world that does not recognize virtually anyone outside of the white male or the beautiful white woman who has to be an object of desire and affection.”