Netflix’s new ‘Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story’ has broken records for being the company’s greatest debut, scoring over 190 million hours played in just five days. The show climbed to be world-renowned not long after its release, showing the origin story of the infamous serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. However the show has stirred up much controversy amongst some viewers – the families of real-life victims.
Rita Isbell, sister of victim Errol Lindsey has spoken out stating that the show is simply “just greed” and how the show “bringing up old feelings did hurt”. Errol Lindsey was one of Dahmer’s 17 young victims, his devastating murder created a lasting effect on his family as Rita stated that “anger stuck with me for a long time”. It is clear the show creators Ian Brennan and Ryan Murphy have been viewed as insensitive to the loved ones family’s as Rita explains how there was no contact made in regards with the show being created, she tells Insider how “Netflix should’ve asked if we mind or how we felt about making it”.
Many other viewers of the show are on side with Rita speaking on social media about their personal take from the show, one twitter user expresses how she thinks “it’s disgusting that Netflix didn’t reach out to victims’ families” (@carlycooper27). Eric Perry, a cousin of Rita Isbell has also spoken out on twitter saying the show is nothing but “retraumatizing” for his family and questions “How many movies/shows/documentaries do we need?” in terms of all the true crime media. (@ericthulhu). Although it is not illegal for Netflix to not contact the victims’ families, is it really just? Is it really fair for these people to be “brought back all the emotions” that they felt when this tragedy was nothing but a fresh wound? However this type of wound is one that cannot be healed, therefore we can only greatly sympathize for the families who feel that this trauma is being relived again.
Netflix have not made any statements in response to the victims family’s or the cloud of controversy which surrounds the show and we are left to question if they will. Although there have been many other works created on not only the Dahmer case, but countless other serial killers and true crime stories, questions are now being raised about is this truly ethical? Many people are currently sharing their opinions online about how such shows are failing victims by the glamorization of the cases in the media and how it is simply just for entertainment use, making them feel it is insensitive to families and victims who aren’t aware of the projects.
Image Credit: Netflix