Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story was previously tagged as LGBT+ on Netflix, but this has now been changed. The latest true crime series centers on the life of serial killer Jeffery Dahmer, who sexually molested and murdered 17 young men between 1987 and 1991. This new horror series from Ryan Murphy, featuring American Horror Story alum and seasoned actor Evan Peters, debuted on Netflix on September 21
The victims’ families have spoken out about being re-traumatized by the Netflix drama, despite the fact that Murphy’s adaptation of the killer’s life aimed to distinguish itself by focusing on the victims and eschewing the glorification of the villain. In addition, numerous works have already been made about the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, including Dahmer (2002), The Jeffrey Dahmer Files (2012), and My Friend Dahmer (2017). This leads some to call the Netflix drama exploitative, while others doubt the drama’s necessity. In addition, the show’s labeling as an LGBTQ+ drama on Netflix (owing to the serial killer being identified as a gay man) has stoked even more controversy.
As per LA Times, Netflix has officially deleted the LGBTQ+ tag from the show, addressing many complaints. Reportedly viewers criticized the tag as “pretty gross” and said, “this is not the representation we’re looking for.” Given the historical outcry against homophobic media discourse surrounding the Dahmer case, it’s remarkable that Netflix would choose to highlight the LGBTQ+ identity of the show. But the streaming provider has deleted the tag after receiving requests from users.
Dahmer has become Netflix’s biggest premiere since Stranger Things season 4. This is despite receiving mostly negative reviews from critics and generating a fair amount of controversy. It is the most popular show on Netflix right now, and its popularity doesn’t seem to be waning any time soon. This is largely due to the show’s positive reception among Netflix’s online community. Others have considered the show exploitative and repetitive because there is already so much footage highlighting the killer’s horrible crimes. While many have applauded Peters’ portrayal of the serial killer and the amazing production of the series. Despite Netflix removing the LGBTQ+ designation from the series, the growing popularity of Monster and the impending release of Conversations with A Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes make it evident that the streaming giant will continue to face criticism for bringing Dahmer back into the spotlight.
Netflix pioneered the binge-watching paradigm of streaming services, which has greatly increased the popularity of true crime media. Despite the genre’s existence on the fine edge between exploitative and informative, impact, necessity, and viewpoint often decide between a respected production and a cash grab. Netflix took a different approach by centering on the victims. However, Monster still fell into the true crime trap and received criticism for various reasons. The tide could turn when more reviews are published.