Penn Badgley Instagram


The pro-immigrant activism of Penn Badgley, star of Netflix’s ‘You’

The Netflix star is more than just a pretty face.


Nahila Bonfiglio


Posted on Jan 5, 2019   Updated on May 20, 2021, 10:11 pm CDT

Netflix’s Dec. 26 release You is blowing up on social media. The star Penn Badgley—and his shockingly attractive face—are a big part of the show’s popularity, but luckily the 32-year-old is using his growing platform for good.

His long-term involvement with the CW’s Gossip Girl might be his best-known work, but Badgley’s activism deserves a shoutout. Over the holidays, the actor advocated for a detained immigrant named Vilma Carrillo and her daughter to be reunited. According to posts on his Instagram and Twitter accounts, Carrillo and her daughter had been separated for 230 days as of Christmas 2018. His Instagram profile includes a link to a petition to reunite them.

Actors using their status as a platform for activism is nothing new, but Badgley’s fame resurgence comes at an opportune moment. In You, Badgley plays the clever and unhinged Joe Goldberg, who uses social media to stalk and seduce Elizabeth Lail’s Gwenevere Beck.

In tandem with promoting his new series, Badgley has posted passionate support for migrants detained at the U.S. border and urged the government to reunite children with their families. He has been an outspoken advocate for Tahiri Justice Center, a national non-profit aimed at protecting individuals fleeing violence. On top of the Tweets and Instagram posts, Badgley made his way to Georgia to meet Carrillo, the immigrant separated from her daughter, in person.

Badgley has also spoken out and shared information on the crisis in Yemen, human rights atrocities happening worldwide, and the role of white men in protecting others. Taking to the internet to support a cause may seem like a small thing, but Badgley’s status cannot be ignored. He’s doing his best to force attention to topics many others ignore.

It’s not every day we see actors pushing so hard to support those who need it. On top of his outspoken posts, Badgley shares information and resources in hopes that others will follow in his footsteps. That’s something to really applaud.


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*First Published: Jan 5, 2019, 7:00 am CST