Following a steady stream of backlash from viewers, Netflix has removed the LGBTQ tag from its latest true crime drama, “Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.”
“Dahmer,” which is produced by Ryan Murphy and stars Evan Peters in the titular role, debuted last Wednesday. It follows the crimes of the notorious Milwaukee serial killer from the perspective of the victims, who were frequently young men of color that he picked up at gay bars. Dahmer ultimately confessed to 17 murders spanning 1978 to 1991 and was himself murdered in prison in 1994.
Although the story does concern queer people and spaces, viewers were baffled by the LGBTQ tag, appearing alongside “Ominous,” “Psychological,” and “Horror.” Generally, we use the LGBTQ tag to find entertainment that centers our experiences, but as TikTok user @lizthelezbo put it, “this is not the representation we’re looking for.”
On Twitter, the tag was also not well received, with one user pointing out, “Imagine clicking on the ‘LGBTQ’ category and this is what you get.”
imagine clicking on the “LGBTQ” category and this is what you get pic.twitter.com/DenEW0DzOd
— Quinton Reviews🎬 (@Q_Review) September 21, 2022
they cannot be marketing the new dahmer series as lgbt that is so fucked
— noahhh ♡ (@tamponxteabag) September 21, 2022
Netflix has since removed the LGBTQ tag from the series, replacing it with tags more generally related to crime and social issues.
While the series has set out to focus on the victims as well as the racism of the police and overall failures of the justice system that enabled the murders, it has received criticism for retraumatizing the families of those victims.
Replying to a clip posted on Twitter of Rita Isbell’s emotional testimony on the murder of her brother, user @ericthulhu wrote, “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?”
Likewise, BJ Daniels, a drag artist who performed at one of the clubs where Dahmer picked up his victims, spoke out about the show to WISN. “I feel like it fetishizes this whole horrible moment in Milwaukee history,” he said. “It shouldn’t be looked at it that way, it just feels completely wrong.”