The Jeffrey Dahmer Series Media Debate

By: Brianna Hollie

On September 21st, 2022, Netflix released Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story directed by Ryan Murphy. There has been lots of debate in the media about the inaccuracy, morality, and intentions of the series debut.

Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story tells the story one of America’s most vicious serial killers and Cannibal, Jeffrey Dahmer. The series included very gruesome visual and graphic horrors of Dahmer’s apartment. The series is immensely told from the perspective of the victims. However, many viewers have come out and said that the series is way too sympathetic and humanizing towards the killer himself. Some have even expressed that there was going to be a lot of romanticizing Jeffrey Dahmer in the series because Evan Peters, who portrays Dahmer, is an extremely popular and well-loved actor.

Twitter user ‘campidoll’ exclaims, ‘’I thought [the series] was going to focus more on the victims… I’m not going to watch his childhood so they can victimize him…’’ This tweet was followed by many tweets agreeing with it, one tweet even going as far as saying that the recreation of so many televised Jeffrey Dahmer series is rooted in racism because of America’s lack of care for most of black men that were victims of Dahmer.

Co-creator of The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, Ian Brennan, responded to all the backlash at the premiere of ‘’The Watcher’’ on Wednesday. Brennan explained that he did not think the series was too ‘’Sympathetic’’ at all. ‘’I think we show a human being. He’s monstrously human and he’s monstrously monstrous and that’s what we wanted to sort of unpack.” “We tried to show an objective portrait as possible. We did our homework.

Despite the co-creator coming out and explaining the production’s prospective, the series is still receiving a lot of backlash because some of the families of the victims have discussed the horrors of Jeffrey Dahmer resurfacing year after year. Last month, Eric Perry, a cousin of Errol Lindsey, tweeted the series was retraumatizing the family. He says ‘’ I am not telling anyone what to watch, I know true crime media is huge [right now], but if you’re seriously curious about the victims, my family (the Isbell’s) are very [angry] about the show.” He continues saying “its retraumatizing over and over again, and for what? How many movies/shows/documentaries do we need?’’

Eric Perry

Overall, Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Series was #1 series being watched on Netflix for a while and has become extremely popular and widely discussed despite backlash. Nonetheless, it is extremely saddening that the family of the victims must re-experience the trauma every time a new Jeffrey Dahmer story becomes mainstream.

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