Netflix’s ‘Dahmer’ Faces Major Backlash


Elena Moore, Student Writer

The new Netflix adaptation ‘Dahmer’ sits in the number 4 spot on the Top TV Shows in the U.S. Today, however it reigned as the number one spot for some time. The show has raised much controversy among viewers and those who have heard about its release. Netflix experienced backlash among the LGBTQ community for using the LGBTQ tag under the title. Using that tag was disrespectful to the gay community because Dahmer, despite being homosexual, was a predator and murderer of gay men.

Netflix casted Evan Peters for the role, an actor famous for playing the role of Tate Langdon in American Horror Story. Tate was a character who committed a school shooting, his targets being randomized among students. Young teenage girls became fans of the character and actor of the series. This romanticization of killers is now a common theme among the film industry. Netflix also came out with the movie Extremely Wicked Shockingly Evil and Vile, where they casted Zac Efron as Ted Bundy. Yes, it’s true that Ted Bundy was supposedly attractive and charming, but casting such a famous and adored actor for the role placed a spotlight on the character and popularized him. Dahmer’s casting has not only attracted fans of Evan Peters, but has also created fans of Jeffrey Dahmer. Ironically and  unsurprisingly, most of the fans seem to be women and young teenage girls.

Another issue with the release of this show is that Netflix didn’t even contact the families of Dahmer’s victims to ask if it was okay to make it. One of the family members, Rita Isbell, the sister of Errol Lindsey, expressed her thoughts in an essay. In the essay, she wrote, “It brought back all the emotions I was feeling back then…I feel like Netflix should’ve asked if we mind or how we felt about making it. They didn’t ask me anything. They just did it. I could even understand it if they gave some of the money to the victim’s children…If the show benefitted them in some way, it wouldn’t feel so harsh and careless. It’s sad that they’re just making money off this tragedy. That’s just greed.” Other family members have come forth with their confessions that the show made them relive their trauma all over again. These people who’ve had movies made of them…they’re not destined for fame. We should not be glamorizing them. They’re murderers who robbed families of their loved ones, and making films of them sets the example that whoever follows in their footsteps may discover the road to fame as well.