Why Netflix Series ‘Dahmer’ is Making Headlines

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“Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” (Courtesy Netflix)

By Eliza Delgado, Assistant Arts Editor

 

Netflix’s latest series “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” has sparked conversations online about the infamous serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Many are outraged that the spotlight has once again landed on the killer, and here is why.

The Records

The show was released on Sept. 21 receiving 196.2 million hours viewed in the first week of its release day. The series was created by Ryan Murphy with Evan Peters playing the role of Dahmer. The two have worked together previously on the popular series “American Horror Story.” If you are a fan of “AHS,” you have some sort of familiarity with the creative process and inspiration both Murphy and Peters have put into the “Dahmer” series. Today, “Dahmer” still sits in the top 10 shows on Netflix after four weeks. It is now the second most streamed show on its premiere on Netflix, sitting only behind “Stranger Things 4.”

The Series

The series tells the story of Jeffrey Dahmer, who brutally murdered 17 men, including two boys that were 14 years old. The show starts off showcasing the early childhood of Dahmer, then it proceeds to the killings and his last living moments through 10 episodes. The show does not focus primarily on Dahmer, but more so on some of the victims and the trials. Specifically, the outrage the POC community felt with how the police handled the case.

In one episode, a neighbor had called the police after finding Konerak Sinthasomphone naked and drugged outside of their apartment complex. Sinthasomphone, who was only 14 years old, was returned to Dahmer by the police after he managed to escape. Unfortunately, he was murdered. This, of course, infuriated the public after the news came out on the poor decision the police had made.

Episode 6, “Silenced,” was dedicated to Tony Hughes, another victim of Dahmer’s who was an openly queer Black man and deaf. I had a hard time watching the show, but especially after episode six I felt more distraught and sorrow for the victims. 

The Controversies

A show like “Dahmer” should expect controversies to arise. Online, especially on TikTok, there were many that were quick to call out the show for several reasons. There were a few issues that stuck out to me. First, the portrayal of the victims. Families of the victims were not notified or reached out from Netflix about the show. One of Dahmer’s victims, Errol Lindsey’s sister, Rita Isbell, made a comment about receiving no contact from the show. She states that the show is only profiting off of the victims and sadly making the families live through that traumatic event in their lives again.

The second controversy is that Netflix labeled the show under the LGBTQ+ category. Many people from the community were outraged and shocked that Netflix would label the show of queer men being brutally murdered and tortured under this category. One user on TikTok states although the men and Dahmer were queer, the show does not represent the LGBTQ+ community in any good way. Netflix later removed the label due to backlash, but has made no official comment.

Lastly, many are outraged about the glorification the show has brought on Dahmer. CBS news reported that eBay banned the sales of Dahmer Halloween costumes to users online. The glorification of Dahmer is not only disgusting, but disrespectful to the victims who were real people and to the families who suffered a tragic loss.

 

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