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Netflix Star Penn Badgley Wants Less Graphic Sexual Scenes Out of Respect for Marriage

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“You” star Penn Badgley recently opened up about his request to Netflix to have fewer sexual scenes in the new season of his hit series out of respect for his relationship with his wife.

Badgley, 36, shared details of his request during an appearance on the “Podcrushed” podcast.

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“I don’t think I have ever mentioned it publicly, but one of the main things was: Do I want to put myself back on a career path where I’m always the romantic lead?” the Netflix star said, noting one of the main motivations for his shift in thinking is his marriage to Domino Kirke-Badgley, whom he wed in 2017.

He said, “Fidelity in every relationship, including my marriage, is important to me. It’s got to the point where I don’t want to do that.”

The actor explained that he approached “You” creator Sera Gamble, asking if the sex scenes could be removed from the show altogether, noting his “desire would be zero, to go from 100 to zero.”

A complete removal, however, didn’t happen.

“I signed this contract,” Badgley said. “I signed up for this show. I know what I did. You can’t take this aspect out of the DNA of the concept. ‘So how much less can you make it?’ was my question to them.”

Of course, the goal of zero sex scenes would have been ideal, as that is what is in line with Scripture. Sex and sexual expression are intended only for a man and woman within the confines of marriage (Hebrews 13:4), and anything that fosters lustfulness is outside God’s perfect design for sexuality (Colossians 3:5; Matthew 5:28).

The “Gossip Girl” alumnus, though, was grateful for the reduction in explicit scenes — a shift he wasn’t even expecting would be possible, given the show’s general storyline.

Badgley said Gamble “didn’t even bat an eye” at his request.

“She was really glad that I was that honest,” he recalled. “She was sort of almost, I want to say empowered, she had a really positive response. They came back with a phenomenal reduction.”

The celebrity couple share a 2-year-old son, James. They are also co-parenting Kirke-Badgley’s 14-year-old son from a previous relationship.

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About The Author

Tré Goins-Phillips Headshot

Tré Goins-Phillips serves as a host and content creator for CBN News. He hosts the weekly “Faith vs. Culture” show and co-hosts “Quick Start,” a news podcast released every weekday morning. Born and raised in Virginia, Tré now lives along the Blue Ridge Mountains, where he has built his career, often traveling to meet and interview fascinating cultural influencers and entertainers. After working with brands like TheBlaze and Independent Journal Review, Tré began his career at CBN News in 2018 and has a particular passion for bridging the chasm between the secular world and the church