Netflix subscribers are finding themselves distracted while watching Never Have I Ever because of Darren Barnet’s age.
Barnet appears in the Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher-created show as the 16-year-old high school student Paxton Hall-Yoshida.
In real life, the American actor is actually 30.
The coming-of-age series, which is currently the streaming service’s most-watched title, follows Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), a 15-year-old Indian-American after her father passes away.
While the second season of the show has been widely praised, there are many viewers who can’t help but focus on the knowledge that Barnet is 14 years older than the character he is playing.
“I can’t watch this series like before knowing the age gap,” one person wrote. Another asked Netflix to “start casting age appropriate actors/actresses for their shows”.
They added: “This sets such unrealistic expectations for young/teenage boys on how they should look like.”
A selection found it uncomfortable knowing that, in the first season, Barnet shared romantic scenes with Canadian star Ramakrishnan when she was 18.
The first two seasons of Never Have I Ever are available to stream on Netflix now. Since it began in 2020, the show has been hailed as a watershed moment for South Asian representation in Hollywood.