Netflix’s Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story rose to the top of the steaming platform’s rankings following its release last month with 56 million households having viewed all 10 episodes.
However, with its success came a wave of criticism from viewers and the families of Dahmer’s victims.
Shirley Hughes, the mother of Tony Hughes, who was murdered by Dahmer in May 1991, has joined the growing list of critics of the television series.
Tony Hughes, who was an aspiring model, portrayed by Rodney Burford, was heavily featured in the sixth episode, titled Silence.
“I don’t see how they can do that,” Hughes said, “I don’t see how they can use our names and put stuff out like that out there.”
The outlet notes that the 85-year-old still struggled to speak about her son’s gruesome murder and “politely ending the call.”
Tony Hughes was considered a missing person until his skull was found in Dahmer’s apartment.
At the time of the notorious serial killer’s arrest, The Guardian notes that Shirley gave United Press International the following statement:
“It hurts. I shed tears. They’re not tears of sorrow, and it’s not disbelief in the Lord. The tears [are] tears of hurt because it hurts. It hurts real bad. But you have to trust and pray and just keep going day by day.”
Family members of Jeffrey Dahmer’s victims claim the new series is ‘retraumatizing’
The Netflix series featured a recreation of Rita Isbell’s victim impact statement. It quickly went viral online due to actress DaShawn Barnes’s realistic portrayal of Isbell’s dramatic statement.
The viral video features a side-by-side comparison of the real-life footage from the 1992 trial and Ryan Murphy’s recreation.
The cousin of Dahmer’s 19-year-old victim Errol Lindsey, Eric Perry, reacted to the clip revealing that his family is angry about the series.
While acknowledging the popularity of the true crime drama, Eric questioned whether it was worth “retraumatizing” the families of Dahmer’s victims.
Netflix reportedly did not compensate or notify the victims’ families
Eric Perry said in another tweet that Netflix did not notify or compensate the families of Dahmer’s victims.
He explained that because Dahmer’s crimes are public records, they are not required to contact or pay the families.
He criticized Netflix for claiming the series was released “with respect to the victims” or “honoring the dignity of the families”, calling their decision “cruel.”