Connor Paolo Calls Out Taylor Momsen Critics

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Gossip Girl star Connor Paolo has his fellow cast member's back.

Speaking to TV Line, the actor who plays Eric delivered a message for critics of his embattled co-star and on-screen sort-of-sibling, Taylor Momsen: Just back off!

“She’s 17 years-old,” Connor said. “I don’t think anyone has the right to say anything negative, being that she - as mature and self-possessed as she is - is still young."

"It’s not fair. No one has a right to attack someone of that age.”

Jenny and Eric Pic

Paolo didn’t single out any particular Momsen detractor, her most high-profile critic is arguably Project Runway‘s Tim Gunn, following his Gossip Girl cameo last fall.

Gunn tore into Momsen for her lack of professionalism on set, while The Pretty Reckless singer has also drawn fire for her wardrobe and controversial comments.

Despite still being billed as a series regular, Momsen has been in just four episodes this season, and Jenny Humphrey has yet to appear on Gossip Girl in 2011.

At least one cast member will welcome her back with open arms.

“I miss her dearly,” Paolo says. “I see her as much as I can, and make it to [as many of her] shows as I can. She’s one of my best friends. It sucks not having her around.”

Paolo insists she’s still part of the show, too: “Jenny’s always lying in wait,” he says, laughing. “She could pop out of the bushes with her machete of eyeliner at any time.”

It's nice to see someone come out and defend Taylor. Do Connor's comments change your perception of her at all? Do you want to see Jenny back on Gossip Girl soon?

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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Gossip Girl

[to Jenny] That's the thing. You need to be cool to be queen. Anne Boleyn thought only with her heart and she got her head chopped off. So her daughter Elizabeth made a vow never to marry a man. She married a country. Forget boys. Keep your eye on the prize, Jenny Humphrey. You can't make people love you, but you can make them fear you. For what it's worth, you're my Queen. I choose you.