Controversial Netflix series ‘Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story’ has come under fire AGAIN as more families speak out
The Netflix drama series focuses on the real-life case of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, portrayed by Evan Peters.
Dahmer murdered 17 men and boys between the years 1978 and 1991.
The release has been a big talking point online but proven controversial in more ways than one.
Family members of Dahmer’s victims have spoken out about Netflix’s production, publicly sharing that they were not consulted about the series and questioning the need for yet more entertainment media profiting off their trauma.
Now, the mother of aspiring model Tony Hughes, who was among more than a dozen men murdered by Dahmer, is the latest person to speak up against the production.
Hughes, who was deaf, was only 31-years-old when he was killed by Dahmer on May 24, 1991.
The entire sixth episode of “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” is devoted to Anthony “Tony” Hughes.
Viewers see how Tony – played by deaf actor and former reality television star Rodney Burford – loses his hearing in infancy after a doctor mis-prescribed him medication, following a battle with pneumonia.
His mother, Shirley Hughes, now 85, told Guardian that she doesn’t understand how a television show about the serial killer who took her son’s life has even been made.
Although she hasn’t seen all of the series, she does say “it didn’t happen like that”.
“I don’t see how they can do that,” Hughes said, before adding that it was difficult to talk about Tony’s murder and politely ending the call. “I don’t see how they can use our names and put stuff out like that out there.”
Hughes’ sister, Barbara Hughes-Holt, previously described her brother as a “party person” who loved to dance to the Chicago Tribune, adding, “Tony wasn’t one that you could fool. He wasn’t a naive person at all.’”
In the book “The Shrine of Jeffrey Dahmer,” author Brian Masters recounts the lead-up to how Hughes ended up in Dahmer’s apartment on May 24, 1991.
According to Masters, Dahmer and Hughes met at the 219 Club in Milwaukee. Hughes then asked three friends to give him a ride to Dahmer’s apartment:
“He and Dahmer sat in the back seat writing notes to each other. Tony wanted to bring the whole company in for drinks at the apartment, but Dahmer indicated that he was inviting Tony by himself. Tony then relayed this information to his friends in sign language, and they understood the situation well enough. He did not seem at all afraid of Dahmer,” Masters said.
Finished the Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes and as always after I finish a true crime documentary, I’ll only focus on the victims.
Remember their names! Remember their faces! They are the ones that matter, not the predator that killed them. They are the only ones that should be remembered! pic.twitter.com/P0jsoRrhcD
— 𝐀𝐍𝐆𝐄𝐋 🌺 (@Angeliiiiique) October 7, 2022
Creator Ryan Murphy and Dahmer actor Evan Peters have both insisted that the show placed victims’ and their families’ stories at the heart of the production, but the show has since been slammed for reportedly not consulting the families of those who were killed.
Netflix wasn’t required to consult victims’ families because the events it portrays are public record.
The show also delves into Dahmer getting away with his crimes for so long, due to authorities ignoring the concerns of Black, gay and other minority community members.
In September, Eric Perry, Cousin of Dahmer victim Errol Lindsey, took to Twitter to share his discomfort with the show:
“I’m not telling anyone what to watch, I know true crime media is huge rn, but if you’re actually curious about the victims, my family (the Isbell’s) are pissed about this show”, Perry said.
“It’s retraumatizing over and over again, and for what? How many movies/shows/documentaries do we need?”
I’m not telling anyone what to watch, I know true crime media is huge rn, but if you’re actually curious about the victims, my family (the Isbell’s) are pissed about this show. It’s retraumatizing over and over again, and for what? How many movies/shows/documentaries do we need? https://t.co/CRQjXWAvjx
— eric perry. (@ericthulhu) September 22, 2022
In September, Netflix removed a tag categorising the series under LGBTQ, following online backlash.
It’s unclear whether Netflix marked the Ryan Murphy release as “LGBTQ” because many of Dahmer’s victims were queer, or because of Dahmer’s own sexuality, but LGBTQ+ audiences understandably found the listing troubling, given the obvious imagery.
Netflix has removed a tag categorising ‘Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story’ under LGBTQ, following online backlash. #dahmar #DahmerMonsterTheJeffreyDahmerStory #LGBTQ pic.twitter.com/SzT6byXqxL
— Queer Insider 🏳️🌈 🏳️⚧️ (@qitweets) September 27, 2022
Fans took to social media to question why the show hadn’t just been listed under ‘true crime’ like other, similar titles.
Those concerns were, as it turns out, not entirely short of the mark, as you can see in these comments:
On the topic of straight folk in queer safe-space venues, from Instagram today… and the comments #LGBTQ #Queer pic.twitter.com/TShjEay375
— Queer Insider 🏳️🌈 🏳️⚧️ (@qitweets) October 10, 2022