The newest true crime series on Netflix, Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, is causing Twitter to beg viewers to not romanticize the killer.
True crime is one of the most popular genres on Netflix. And while this usually pertains to crime documentaries, this love for the genre can bleed into historical dramas about those crimes.
This is the case for the newest series about Jeffrey Dahmer, also known as the Milwaukee Cannibal or the Milwaukee Monster. For those not in the know, he was an American serial killer and sex offender who murdered seventeen men from 1978 to 1991.
Ryan Murphy’s Netflix series, titled Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story and starring Evan Peters, has already sparked some controversy. One of these issues pertains to how the show’s writing and casting may lead some viewers to view the killer with rose-colored glasses.
Twitter urges Netflix viewers: “Let’s not romanticize Jeffrey Dahmer”
On Twitter, user @sicssorluv asked those watching the series not to glamorize and romanticize Jeffrey Dahmer, which they viewed as a possibility due to the fanbase of his actor, Evan Peters.
This kind of romaticization has already happened with other actors and their serial killer characters, such as Zac Efron’s portrayal of Ted Bundy in the 2019 film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. And while it’s okay to praise the actor’s performance – this Twitter user even praises Peters – they stress that his role should not be as beloved.
Now, romanticizing a serial killer is nothing new for some people. Tabloids have always seemed to mention how “charming” Ted Bundy was – despite those who knew him stating the opposite – and the Manson Family had a ton of devoted followers.
This kind of love for serial killers has always been a source of fascination and disgust by the general public, but this has led other Twitter users to have similar fears as @sicssorluv:
Even a star of the show, Shaun J. Brown, asked his followers to remember and respect the real victims of the show, including the victim he plays, Tracy Edwards:
Ultimately, this focus on making white male serial killers appear charming and romantic will no doubt lead to negative consequences, be they let off more easily due to appearing likable, their victims being overshadowed by just how charismatic the man who brutally killed them was, or copycat killers popping up because they too want to be romanticized.
Either way, it’s important to remember that this was a real story, with real murders. So lay off the fan cams.
Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is currently available to watch on Netflix.