Many Netflix subscribers have been posting on social media about how angered they are by Dahmer - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story having an LGBTQ+ tag next to it. Not long after the viewers voiced their complaints, Netflix removed the descriptor tag.
With Dahmer being in the top shows on Netflix at the moment, many viewers are likely to see it right when they open the app. Along with the show you can see the genres and the "this show is" tags next to it, which currently read: Crime TV Shows, Social Issue, TV Dramas, TV Dramas as well as Ominous and Dark. LGBTQ+ has been taken off the list. This comes after many social media posts criticizing the tag, like this TikTok:
In the video, the user says: “I know this is technically true, but this is not the representation we’re looking for.” This appears to be what a lot of people think when they saw the tag appear. Another user on Twitter wrote:
Netflix having the audacity to put Dahmer under the LGBTQ+ tag is literally so fitting - exploiting the trauma of real, gay, Black and Brown victims for their own financial gain. Turning their stories into a sideshow attractionSeptember 25, 2022
The show follows the infamous serial killer who murdered 17 men and boys. According to The Independent, it’s been speculated that the reason the LGBTQ+ tag was there in the first place was that Dahmer’s victims were gay men, and the show deals with the homophobia surrounding the Dahmer case. I would assume it’s highly likely this is the reason the show received the tag in the first place, however, Netflix has not confirmed why the tag was taken away.
“Exploiting the trauma” of the victims, as the tweet above said, has been one of the major critiques of the show. A sister of one of Jeffrey Dahmer’s victims shared her thoughts on the show saying she was “bothered” by it and said it felt like “reliving it all over again.” She also noted that she was not contacted by the show for permission to use her story or to see how she felt about the show being made in the first place.
Evan Peters, who plays Dahmer, noted that one rule they had on set was to always tell the story from the victims’ point of view and not idealize the story. However, another one of the show's main criticisms is that it romanticizes the story of the serial killer. Many social media users have had some wild reactions to the show, lots of them noting it’s important not to romanticize stories like this one.
While Dahmer has faced great criticism, it is one of the popular shows on the fall TV schedule, and those with a Netflix subscription have likely seen it in the Top 10 TV shows for the last week or so. Yesterday, it was reported that the show brought in the most viewers since the release of Stranger Things Season 4, with 196.2 million viewers.
With the show being viewed by so many people, the responses have been mixed. And many viewers, especially those connected to the crimes being shown have expressed that the show is traumatizing and difficult to watch.
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Riley Utley is a Weekend Editor and resident Swiftie at CinemaBlend. She also adores (and writes about) Ted Lasso, rom-coms and whatever streaming series is gracing our screens.