Evan Peters has received praise near and far for his new role as Jeffrey Dahmer in the new Netflix series based on the killer’s life. He has also received a whole new slew of adoring fans for his performance.
Like everything that happens on TikTok, it is fair to say that in some cases this has been taken too far. Not the fact that fans are lusting over Peters but more so the fact that they are excusing Jeffrey Dahmer’s actions through doing so. Fans have been sharing videos from the show stating things like they “would let Jeffrey kill them” and saying that they understood why real-life victims left with Dahmer.
Dahmer took polaroid photographs of his victims after murdering and dismembering them. This is portrayed in the show but of course with fake photographs. Recently the real polaroids have been leaked on Reddit. This has given rise to a new trend on TikTok in which people give their first reactions to seeing real pictures.
Jeffrey Dahmer murdered 17 people, many of whom were gay, black, and Hispanic. In 1980s America these people were less likely to be protected by police making it easier for Dahmer to get away with his crimes. They had personalities, families, lives, and the right to live. Yet now they are being reduced to victims of the cruel and inhumane way in which they died.
Errol Lindsey who was just 19 when Dahmer murdered him is depicted in the series. His family has come out and said that the series has retraumatised them. It appears that none of the victims’ families were consulted in the making of the series.
The series focuses heavily on Dahmer’s childhood, his feelings, and his upbringing. I feel that the start of the show depicts Dahmer very much as a loner and someone we should feel sorry for.
I did not feel that the victims were given the same grace in this show. It makes me question that if Jeffrey himself had been a Black or Hispanic gay man who murdered 17 white people would he have been given the same grace?
Many mass murderers have received somewhat of a cult following. While imprisoned fans sent Dahmer love letters, art, and even cash. Is creating a tv-series like this not just giving more acclaim to a man who does not deserve it?
The victims of Dahmer’s crimes never gained a cult following, the media never painted them as misunderstood or explained their stories. Their families grieved in silence as Dahmer rose to almost celebrity status which is now concreted in this series.
The glamorisation of true crime has removed the humanity of the people who suffered. Not only this but when families are not consulted it creates further hurt on top of the atrocities they have already faced.