The 14-year-old Stranger Things star recently began watching You, the Lifetime series that just landed on Netflix, where its second season will air. Brown was one of many fans who fell for Penn Badgley's character on the series, bookstore manager Joe Goldberg. On the show, Joe falls for and stalks Beck (Elizabeth Lail), before his obsession -- spoiler alert -- turns deadly for the people in her life.
“So I just started that new show You. He’s not creepy. He’s in love with her, and it’s OK," Brown said in a video posted to her Instagram Story. "So I’m obsessed with it, I’m binge-watching it, absolute banger, Netflix.”
As if anticipating the backlash she would face for defending the charming stalker, Brown quickly posted a second message to her followers.
“I know everybody’s going to say, ‘Uh, he’s a stalker, why would you support that?' No, like, he’s in love with her. And it’s just like, just watch the show and don’t judge me on my opinions,” she said.
Fans were quick to point out the problematic nature of Brown's opinion. One told her to "stop romanticizing and normalizing abusive, unhealthy behavior," while another called Joe "a disgusting predator." Others took shots at Brown directly, calling her "naive."
Just heard about the Millie Bobby Brown/YOU thing and I’m just so horrified I don’t have words. 📢Stop romanticizing and normalizing abusive, unhealthy behavior.📢
Millie Bobby Brown's take on the stalker character from 'You' just goes to show how young and naive she is and how y'all need to stop treating her like she's a mature young adult when she's literally a 14 yr old kid smh
It turns out, though, that Brown was only two episodes into the series when she posted her initial support. After she finished the series, she went back to her story to amend her comments.
"So I just finished You. And I guess the other day I made a video, I was on episode two, I guess I gathered an analysis too quickly," she admitted. "I watched episode 10 -- most definitely is a stalker. But it was a really great show. So I'm really excited for season two. My bad if I upset anyone."
Since the show hit Netflix, Badgley, 32, has been fighting against fans who romanticize his problematic character on Twitter. One person tweeted Badgley, "I'm telling u it's ur face that does it. Ur gorgeous. I can see past that crazy sh*t lol."
"But you're supposed to see past my face TO the crazy sh*t!" Badgley lamented in response. "It’s the other way! The other wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyhhyyyyggg :)"
But you’re supposed to see past my face TO the crazy shit! It’s the other way! The other wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyhhyyyyggg :)
ET caught up with the actor back in September and he discussed the problematic fascination that people have with Joe.
"The question really does become: What time are we in? What moment are we in that we find this so compelling? I'm not saying it's bad to find it compelling, but what is it that people like so much?" he said. "I think with this show, we have the opportunity to explore and we don't necessarily have to feel bad about it, but we should be asking the question."
"And then there's this other part, where Joe demands that we recognize where we have been operating under faulty logic," Badgley added. "Like, 'Oh yeah, I was kinda doing it. I just wasn't doing what he did.' How disingenuous is it for me to feel so far from how he's behaving if I'm at the trail-head -- he's much further down and he went off on a detour and he's lost in the woods -- and maybe I should just not be here at all. Maybe I should be at a different park. It's an interesting idea."
"It's an interesting part of this conversation about why we might like Joe, what we find about him that is relatable. In a way, he's trying to be the kind of man that he's seen in movies," he continued. "He's also threatened by the kind of man he thinks he's meant to be, in terms of a brooding, brutish man; strong, cold predator, more or less. How predatory are the male icons we've loved for decades? He's threatened by the male archetype and then he tries to embody it, and he's sorely mistaken on both counts. But there is a point where I can't blame him and then past that point, he must be blamed."