Actor Penn Badgley slammed the acting industry for its lack of diversity in a recent interview, saying white people are often chosen to play the roles of marginalized or oppressed peoples.
“If anybody exists at any kind of intersection of oppression beyond the box of white male, I’d say let’s make [expletive] 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,” he told U.K.-based PinkNews.
“Because then at the end of the day you’re getting a real portrayal,” he added.
Specifically responding to a question about whether or not gay and transgender people should be cast in gay and transgender roles, the actor — who gained notoriety after playing the character Dan Humphrey in the hit-drama series “Gossip Girl” on The CW — said he “really [likes] that idea.”
“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."
“In reality, we have basically, like, privileged a-- white people playing everybody, and so we need to stop that," he told PinkNews.
Badgley said “in theory” and in a “totally just society” any actor should be able to portray any character, 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,” he added.
Badgley, 32, now stars in the thriller series “You” which first premiered on Lifetime but is moving to Netflix for its second season. You can catch the show on the streaming service later this month, according to Pink News.