Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story has sparked controversy since it was released on Netflix with many believing there was a lack of empathy and a resparking of trauma for the serial killer’s victims’ families portrayed in the series.
Dahmer’s director Ryan Murphy revealed on Thursday (October 27) that when he reached out to “around 20 of the victims’ families and friends” to provide their input about the series, he didn’t receive one response.
“Over the course of the three, three and a half years when we were really writing it, working on it, we reached out to 20, around 20 of the victims’ families and friends, trying to get input, trying to talk to people, and not a single person responded to us in that process,” Murphy said while speaking at an event in Los Angeles’ DGA Theater. “So we relied very, very heavily on our incredible group of researchers who I don’t even know how they found a lot of this stuff. But it was just like a night and day effort trying to uncover the truth of these people.”
After the lack of contact revelation went viral, many noted their frustration with Murphy and the series.
Additionally during Thursday’s event, Murphy maintained he’s willing to pay the cost of a memorial for the victims if such an event were to be arranged.
“We’re trying to get a hold of people to talk about that,” Murphy explained. “I think there’s some resistance because they think the park would attract people who are interested in paying homage to the macabre… but I think something should be done.”
The Netflix series stars Evan Peters as the infamous Wisconsin serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who in 1992 was convicted of 15 of the 16 murders he committed in his home state. While the series has been one of the streaming service’s most popular to date, it’s also received warranted criticism, particularly from families of the victims.
The mother of Tony Hughes, one of Dahmer’s victims, recently criticized the show over its exploitative approach.
“I don’t see how they can do that,” Shirley Hughes told The Guardian. “I don’t see how they can use our names and put stuff out like that out there.” She also noted that her son’s murder at the hands of Dahmer in 1991 “didn’t happen” the same way it was depicted in the show.