While the 2022 Netflix series Dahmer: Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story was one of the streaming network’s highest-grossing series of the year, it has been dogged by criticism, most notably with Evan Peters’ 2023 Golden Globe triumph for portraying the infamous kil*er. Shirley Hughes, the mother of one of Dahmer’s victims, Tony Hughes, expressed her displeasure with the award in a January 12 interview with TMZ, claiming that Hollywood’s trend of honoring kil*ers is extremely dangerous.
“There are a lot of sick people all over the world, and people getting acting parts from portraying kil*ers keeps the fixation going, and this causes sick people to live on the celebrity,” Hughes explained to TMZ.”It’s a pity that individuals may profit from our misfortune.” The victims never received a penny. “We experience these feelings on a daily basis.”
Hughes is not alone in her critique of real crime as entertainment; an excessive fixation with the “true crime” genre, which includes anything from books and podcasts to full-fledged documentaries and TV programs, appears to be spreading. Some ladies have even started constructing DNA test kits using their own DNA on TikTok in case they become m*rder victims themselves. “There’s a unique breed of white woman who likes genuine crime and is so fascinated with being a victim of a violent crime,” TikToker @frogmommyyy stated in a video posted on Dec. 19. “It’s ridiculous, and it’s harmful to your mental health, so don’t do it.” “This seems strange.”
Several other family members of Dahmer’s victims, in addition to Hughes, have attacked the series and its makers for exploiting their lost loved ones and turning misery into entertainment.
“When I saw portions of the program, it pained me, especially when I saw myself—when I saw my name come across the screen and this person stating EXACTLY exactly what I said,” Rita Isbell, Errol Lindsey’s sister, said in an Insider piece published on September 25, 2022. “It seemed like I was living it all over again. It brought back all of the feelings I was experiencing at the time.
While having to relive the agony of a loved one being mu*dered is bad enough, seeing an actor’s portrayal of that kil*er receive such acclaim must be even worse. “It’s unfortunate that they’re profiting from this tragedy,” Isbell remarked. “That’s simply plain greed.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, Isbell stated that Netflix has not approached her about the program.
During his award speech, Peters mentioned the show’s heaviness. “It was a difficult one to produce and watch, but I genuinely hope something good came out of it,” he remarked. He expressed gratitude to the actors, crew, creators, and directors but made no mention of the victims or their families. For Hughes and other family members of Dahmer’s victims, ignoring the horror of these events is more than reckless—it’s heinous. Hughes told TMZ that the actor should have used his time on stage to honor the victims or to call on Hollywood to stop glorifying kil*ers.
“I believe Netflix should have asked if we were okay with it or how we felt about it.” They didn’t ask me any questions. “They simply did it,” writes Isbell for Insider. “I could even understand it if some of the money went to the victims’ families,” she continued. “It wouldn’t feel so cruel if the show helped them in some manner.”