• Arizona
  • Thursday , Feb 1 , 2018

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2 minutes reading time (453 words)

Star of Netflix thriller 'You' comes to ASU to talk about dangers of modern dating

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Modern dating is terrifying, and if you've seen the Netflix thriller "You," it makes you think about the dangers of it. In the show, actor Penn Badgley plays a guy who stalks women. Saturday, he came to Arizona State University.

The ASU Baha'i Club brought Badgley to campus to talk about love and relationships. Hundreds of people came out to hear him speak.

The show "You" is so popular, it's got a lot of people talking about the risks of dating. As "You" grows in popularity, so does the number of girls who say they'd like to date the main character, Joe, a stalker and murderer.

"I think initially it was disturbing, but I think what I've realized is he's a device," said the actor who plays Joe, Penn Badgley. "He's meant to be seductive, so what it ends up being is a portal to conversation, so we can really think about why it is we are attracted to a person like this and why we're so willing to forgive the abusive behavior for someone who looks like me as opposed to somebody who fits in another category."

Arizona's Family asked him what he thought people could learn from the show.

"Sometimes I worry about the show being like a cautionary tale because Joe isn't a clinical portrait of someone who does this," said Badgley. "It's more of a cultural conversation or commentary. If there's anything we can learn from the show about these patterns, it's like when you see them, remove yourself from abusive situations rather than being drawn in."

Mesa detective Scott Pietrzak runs a business called Online Safety Specialists. He says stalking is a serious issue happening across the country, and social media makes it easier.

"Not everybody out there is a stalker, is a predator, but there are people out there that want to do bad things," said Pietrzak. "Don't give them the ammunition to use against you."

Pietrzak spends time on dating apps like Tinder and Grindr catching bad guys. The detective says he sees people all the time who aren't who they say they are -- either lying about their age or using stolen pictures.

"It's absolutely scary," said Pietrzak. "It could be someone you have no idea who it is, could be someone who lives next door to you. The anonymity is kind of the scariest part."

He said people can learn a lot about "You," both good and bad. "I think it's a great way to show the real stalkers out there to succeed," said Pietrzak. "Hopefully it will make people think about what they're actually putting online, so people aren't seeing what they're doing minute for minute everyday."
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