Netflix's "Dahmer" Is Getting Criticized By People, Including The Family Of One Of His Victims, And Here's Why

This post contains mentions of violence and abuse.

If you've been on Netflix recently, then chances are you've seen Dahmer — Monster: the Jeffrey Dahmer Story, which is currently #1 in the US as of today.

  Ser Baffo / Netflix
Ser Baffo / Netflix

Created and written by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan, this limited series chronicles the horrific murders of men and young boys by serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who is played by Evan Peters, between 1978 and 1991.

Evan as Jeffrey getting a mug shot vs the real Jeffrey's mugshot
Netflix / Curt Borgwardt / Sygma via Getty Image

Notably, the show sheds light on how Jeffrey Dahmer got away with murdering innocent people, who were predominantly Black, for so long and how the Milwaukee Police Department failed the victims, especially after two officers handed 14-year-old Konerak Sinthasomphone back to Dahmer after he had escaped.

In real life, Jeffrey Dahmer confessed to police for "a total of 17 slayings" once he was finally arrested in 1991. A year later, Dahmer was convicted of 16 murders and was sentenced to 16 life terms in prison. In 1994, he was murdered in prison.

Jeffrey being led by an officer
Marny Malin / Sygma via Getty Images

Hollywood has often had an unhealthy fascination with Jeffrey Dahmer's murders, with several movies about the serial killer being produced. Jeremy Renner and Ross Lynch are two notable actors who have played Dahmer in films that were released in 2002 and 2017.

  Peninsula Films / FilmRise / Everett Collection / Via youtu.be
Peninsula Films / FilmRise / Everett Collection / Via youtu.be

And now, Netflix has added Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story to the list of Dahmer-centered films and shows that, honestly, never should've been made.

Evan as Jeffrey in handcuffs
Netflix

While the show is #1 on Netflix, having already broken the record for the biggest series debut on the streamer in the first week of its release with 196.2 million hours viewed, many people are calling out the series as "romanticizing" Jeffrey Dahmer's murders once again.

Some people also called out Netflix's

Some people also called out Netflix's "pretty gross" use of the LGBTQ tag for the show on their site, which has since been removed.

Netflix

Evan Peters said it was "important" to him and the Dahmer creators to "be respectful to the victims, the victims' families, and try to tell the story as authentically as [they] could." Evan also said he was "very scared" about playing the role and "committing" to portraying him in the series.

  Netflix
Netflix

And Shaun J. Brown, who portrays Tracy Edwards, tweeted a note about how it's odd to receive praise for playing the role of one of Dahmer's victims, and he hopes anyone who watches the show thinks of them.

Alongside some viewer criticism, Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is also being called out by one of his victim's family members, who was not consulted before this Netflix show was released — in fact, they reportedly found out about it at the "same time as everyone else."

  Netflix / Eugene Garcia / AFP / Getty Images
Netflix / Eugene Garcia / AFP / Getty Images

Rita Isbell, who is the sister of Errol Lindsey, one of Jeffrey Dahmer's victims, penned an essay for Insider in which she detailed what it's like having to relive this tragedy.

  Steve Kagan / Getty Images
Steve Kagan / Getty Images

Rita can be seen in Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story giving an emotional victim impact statement at Dahmer's 1992 sentencing in court. The moment is created "verbatim" in the show, according to Isbell.

  Netflix / Breaking News Today / Via youtu.be
Netflix / Breaking News Today / Via youtu.be

"When I saw some of the show, it bothered me, especially when I saw myself — when I saw my name come across the screen and this lady saying verbatim exactly what I said. If I didn't know any better, I would've thought it was me. Her hair was like mine, she had on the same clothes. That's why it felt like reliving it all over again. It brought back all the emotions I was feeling back then."

  Netflix
Netflix

She then went on to say that Netflix never contacted her prior to the show's release, saying, "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. But I'm not money hungry, and that's what this show is about, Netflix trying to get paid."

  Netflix
Netflix

"I could even understand it if they gave some of the money to the victims' children. Not necessarily their families. I mean, I'm old. I'm very, very comfortable. But the victims have children and grandchildren. If the show benefited them in some way, it wouldn't feel so harsh and careless."

  Netflix
Netflix

Eric Perry, who is Errol Lindsey's cousin, took to Twitter to echo Rita's opinions, calling the show "retraumatizing."

He also noted that the victims' families do not have to be notified when a TV show or movie is made like this because "it's all public record," saying that they often find out a new Jeffrey Dahmer show or movie is being made when they wake up to "a bunch of calls and messages" after it has been released.

  Netflix
Netflix

Rita Isbell finished her essay to Insider saying that it has taken her years to get over the "anger" she felt surrounding her brother's death and how Errol is "always going to be alive in [her] spirit." In fact, she revealed that Errol had a daughter, who is now 31 years old, and Rita says, "I have to keep him alive so I can talk about him to her."

  Netflix
Netflix

You can read Rita's entire essay with Insider here.

What are your thoughts on Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story? Tell us in the comments below.