'YOU' Producers Reached Out to Teen Cast Member After Chris D'Elia Allegations

Meredith Jacobs
Chris D'Elia You Season 2
Netflix

Following sexual assault allegations against comedian Chris D'Elia, who appeared in YOU Season 2, the Netflix drama's producers reached out to Jenna Ortega, the 17-year-old actress who worked with him.

The producers wanted "to make sure she felt safe," Penn Badgley, who plays the obsessive Joe, tells the Los Angeles Times. D'Elia played Henderson, a comedian who sexually assaulted young women.

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Sawyer's costar Danielle Nicolet also weighed in after he was axed this week for past racist and misogynist tweets.

On June 16, a Simone Rossi posted screenshots of emails allegedly between her and D'Elia. "Imagine being 16 and being groomed by a stand up comedian twice ur age," she wrote on Twitter. Other women have also posted messages allegedly from the actor-comedian, alleging harassment.

Following the accusations, D'Elia released a statement to TMZ. "I have never knowingly pursued any underage women at any point. All of my relationships have been both legal and consensual and I have never met or exchanged any inappropriate photos with the people who have tweeted about me," he said.

YOU Season 2 Penn Badgley Jenna Ortega

Penn Badgley and Jenna Ortega in YOU Season 2 (Beth Dubber/Netflix)

Badgley also says he is "very troubled by" the allegations against D'Elia. "If there's anything we need to do in this age, it's to believe women."

Furthermore, he addresses the concept of YOU—in which his character becomes obsessed with and stalks women—and the need for a change. "The idea that a show like ours would indirectly, unwittingly be a haven for people who are abusive is ... very disturbing," he adds. "It's not just vetting individuals. There needs to be a change in culture and attitude so that that kind of behavior is so clearly reprehensible, it's so clearly, like, anti-human."

Since the accusations, D'Elia's agent and manager have dropped him. A Workaholics episode in which the actor played a child molester was removed from Comedy Central, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.