“Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” the awkwardly titled, fictionalized true-crime series from “American Horror Story” vets Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan, debuted on Netflix last week with the LGBTQ category tag. But after public outcry, Netflix quietly removed it. (It was gone two days after the series premiered.)
While “Dahmer” has broken records for the streaming service, it has also generated significant controversy, with fans unhappy that the streamer placed the LGBTQ label on the series. Netflix usually uses the tag on more positive LGBTQ content like breakout series “Heartstopper” and “Sex Education.” “Dahmer” is, of course, based on the life and crimes of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer (played in the show by Murphy regular Evan Peters), who murdered 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991.
The backlash began last week, picking up steam as Twitter users complained of the dubious association.
imagine clicking on the "LGBTQ" category and this is what you get pic.twitter.com/DenEW0DzOd
— Quinton Reviews
(@Q_Review) September 21, 2022
The fact that they have this Dahmer docuseries under LGBT is really taking me OUT
— pure honey
(@1trystn) September 21, 2022
Hey hi @netflix I IMPLORE you please reconsider having Dahmer with the LGBTQ tag, especially as one of its tags right when you open the app
— Pantastically (@Sinuzaki) September 22, 2022
Besides the LGBTQ controversy, some of the families of the victims of Dahmer’s have spoken out about how unnecessary the show is, as well. “It’s retraumatizing over and over again, and for what? How many movies/shows/documentaries do we need?” wrote Eric Perry, the brother of Rita Isbell, whose brother Errol Lindsay was killed by the murderer.
Her impassioned testimony in court was iconic and is replicated, almost exactly, in the series. As a response she wrote a piece for Insider saying how watching the recreation made her feel. “When I saw some of the show, it bothered me, especially when I saw myself — when I saw my name come across the screen and this lady saying verbatim exactly what I said,” she wrote.
Still, the controversy did nothing to slow down the momentum of “Dahmer,” which logged an astonishing 196.2 million hours viewed in its first five days alone. It was enough to earn it the distinction of being the most-watched first week for any Netflix series, which includes blockbusters like “Squid Game.” Yes, it’s that huge.
TheWrap reached out to Netflix to confirm the change and the reasoning behind it; they have yet to respond.