Penn Badgley Clarifies Sex Scene Comments

Penn Badgley Clarifies Sex Scene Comments

Penn Badgley had some explaining to do.

In a new interview with GQ, the actor clarified a comment about on-screen intimacy and "fidelity" onscreen that led to a rampant discussion about the very nature of "sex scenes" in film and television. During the interview, Badgley was asked about the reaction to his comments, and he described them as "blown out of proportion."

He continued: "What I was speaking about wasn't actually the final product. It was sort of like the culture inherent to the production of all movies, but particularly those scenes. It's like, look, we know that Hollywood has had a history of flagrant exploitation and abuse.”

Badgley's comments on an episode of Podcrushed in February led to the aforementioned firestorm after he revealed a conversation with You creator Sara Gamble about sex scenes in the show. "Fidelity in every relationship, including my marriage, is important to me." He added, "It’s got to the point where I don’t want to do [sex scenes].”

In the GQ interview, Badgley added: "I was nervous to even have that conversation. It was not easy. It was easy because of Sera's response, and I felt relieved. But technically speaking, if I thought I'd had the ability to set that boundary earlier, I would have.” He also wondered, after the Podcrushed episode made mainstream headlines, if his career would be affected. “We shall see if setting that boundary, of course, has any ramifications," Badgley said. "Just simply, it does limit the number of projects you can be a part of.”

Interestingly, he noted that the diminished number of sex scenes on the show would not "change the trajectory of the season at all. I mean, Joe was naturally ready to not be in that position anymore."

During the interview, Badgley and the interviewer were temporarily swarmed by fans, which contextualized his feelings about "fidelity" and his on-screen persona. After the crowd dispersed, Badgley said this of fan reactions to him and the character Joe: “Every relationship you have — every single one, down to your parents, your children, and everybody outside of that — it influences every single relationship in ways that are always unpredictable and a bit tricky. And then everywhere you go, that happens.”

Photo via Getty/ Astrid Stawiarz