Netflix removes LGBTQ+ tag from Dahmer series amid controversy

Published : 29 Sep 2022 09:04 PM

Netflix has removed the LGBTQ+ tag from the true crime limited series Dahmer - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story starring Evan Peters amid complaints.

Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story was originally categorized under the LGBT+ tag on Netflix, a label which the streamer has now removed. Centered on real-life serial killer Jeffery Dahmer, who murdered and sexually assaulted 17 young men and boys between 1987-1991, the series is the latest true crime fascination for fans of the genre. Helmed by American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy and starring AHS alumnus/horror vet Evan Peters, Dahmer premiered on Netflix on September 21.

Though Murphy's dramatization of the killer's life sought to differentiate itself from other titles in the true crime genre by paying special attention to Dahmer's victims and avoiding the glorification of the killer, those victims' families have already spoken out about being re-traumatized due to the Netflix drama. With plenty of projects centered on the serial killer already in existence - such as 2002's Dahmer, 2012's The Jeffrey Dahmer Files, and 2017's My Friend Dahmer starring Ross Lynch - the Jeffrey Dahmer story has already been covered by several angles. This begs the question of the Netflix drama's necessity, leading some viewers to label the series as exploitative. The series has ignited even more backlash because of its categorization as an LGBTQ+ drama (due to the serial killer's label as a gay man) on Netflix.

According to the LA Times, the LGBTQ+ tag has officially been removed from the series by Netflix after many viewers complained about the label. Viewers slammed the tag as "pretty gross," reporting that "this is not the representation we’re looking for." Considering the backlash to homophobic media rhetoric that surrounded coverage of the Dahmer case during its time, it's surprising that Netflix would have used the LGBTQ+ label as a defining trait of the series at all. However, the streaming service has complied with fans' requests for the label to be removed.

Despite mixed critic reviews and a sizable dose of controversy, Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story has become Netflix's biggest premiere since Stranger Things season 4. Currently the number 1 television series on Netflix, Monster has showed no signs of slowing down in terms of popularity, with online word-of-mouth chiefly ensuring the show's continued spread. 

While fans have praised Peters' portrayal of the serial killer and the impressive production of the series, others have called the show exploitative and redundant amid so much content spotlighting the killer's disturbing deeds. Though Netflix has removed the LGBTQ+ label from the series, it's clear that the streaming service will continue to field controversy for thrusting Dahmer into the spotlight once again as Monster grows more popular, especially with Conversations With A Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes scheduled for release on October 7.