The glorification of Jeffrey Dahmer is harmful


Rachel Maddox

In my opinion, this show should’ve never been made in the first place due to the horrific backlash that has occurred. 

Bella Boone, Digital Staff

On September 21, 2022, Netflix released the show Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story starring American Horror Story actor Evan Peters. The crime fiction thriller has shown a side of Jeffrey Dahmer we don’t normally see. This has serviced many true crime fans, who have taken their interest in Jeffrey Dahmer way too far. In my opinion, this show should’ve never been made in the first place due to the horrific backlash that has occurred. 

The dramatic crime series is causing even more distress to the victim’s families than they have already experienced. Shirly Hudges (the mother of Tony Hudges, a victim of Dahmer) has spoken out on the show. “I don’t see how they can use our names and put stuff out like that out there,” she said. This adds to my dislike of how this show disrespects the victims’ families, forcing them to relive the trauma that Jeffrey Dahmer has put them through. Yes, I can see their good intentions by trying to show how cops and the legal system had failed gay men of color, but in my opinion, it has made it way worse. It has caused fans to mock the victims and say how much they love Jeffrey for what he did. 

I have seen videos surfacing on TikTok of fans commenting that they “feel bad” for Jeffrey Dahmer because of his mother walking out on his family, his parents’ constant fighting, and his having no friends in high school. This dispairs the purpose of the show entirely. The victims should be mourned, not disrespected by fans that insist on coddling their attacker. In the show, there are many times when Dahmer should’ve been caught. But because it’s a white man’s word over many people of color, he never was. I see that in this situation; a white man is being pampered when he shouldn’t be. 

Scenes of Evan Peters playing Dahmer with his shirt off with the caption “He’s so hot, I’m talking about Evan Peters, not Dahmer” have been all around the internet. This doesn’t make sense to me. Even if you are talking about the actor you are reacting to a scene where he is the embodiment of the serial killer, he looks like Dahmer, acts like Dahmer, and talks like Dahmer, and since Evan is an actor who has been in lots of movies I don’t understand why you have to react to this specific show. 

On top of that, since Halloween is coming up, fans have started to order Jeffrey Dahmer outfits and accessories like his glasses and wigs to copy his appearance. It has gotten to the point that eBay has had to disable sellers from promoting Jeffrey Dahmer’s items for other buyers to get. These fans are dressing up like a man who has killed seventeen boys and men, engaged in cannibalism and groomed several minors. Trying to characterize Jeffrey Dahmer as innocent, when he brutally terrorized many people and left a pit of grief for their families is very harmful to the communities still suffering from his actions.

I’ve seen fan edits consisting of Jeffrey Dahmer in the courtroom and scenes from the Dahmer series. In the heading and comment sections, people are exclaiming about how attractive he is. I’ve noticed how it’s always predominately white women or white gay men posting disgusting things like this. This proves how white people lack empathy for the plight of people of color, and since Jeffrey Dahmer never marginalized the white community, they’re blind to Dahmer’s true atrocities.

Has this series done any good? No, this show has tried to explore Jeffery Dahmer’s motives to become a serial killer and as well as show some insight into the victims’ lives but in conclusion, it has caused a big ruckus on social media due to how mainstream it got. The grotesque ways people can get views and just be downright disgusting have made the show hard to watch.