Is It Really Just a TV Show?

By: Tess Letendre—School News Editor

Years after the horrors that occurred at the hands of Jeffrey Dahmer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin were put to rest, Netflix released a TV show rehashing the hardships the city endured. On September 21, 2022, Netflix first aired the series, “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Show” and it immediately gained a lot of attention. 

Although the show has only been streaming for 10 days, the controversy it has sparked is through the roof, “I think it’s hard to argue that the show “glorifies” Dahmer in any way, if you’ve seen it, but the issues stem from how Netflix has labeled the show and the fact that it was made at all,” said author Paul Tassi.

In the making of the show, the company did not pay adequate respect to the victim’s families, “I wish the streamer asked if the victims’ families mind or how we felt about making it. They didn’t ask us anything. They just did it,” stated Rita Isbell, sister of one of Dahmer’s victims. 

“I think it’s wrong that they didn’t ask for permission. It is a good show, but it’s a sensitive subject for a lot of people and the company should have been more considerate of the victims and those affected. The hardships victim’s families endured need to be acknowledged and they should not have to feel as if they are reliving their trauma,” said viewer Masha Doljenkova. 

A lot of the backlash has been focused on the fact that “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Show,” glorifies criminals. “Whenever something like that is made into a TV show or movie, they glorify them and become interested in this as if people hadn’t died. Viewers treat it like a hobby and forget that it’s a true story that terribly affected real people,” said Piper Hanna, a student at Sharon High School.

To people who had to live through such terrible things, it seems as if watchers seem to forget that it’s a true story, “Jeffrey Dahmer was something else. I haven’t watched the show, but I remember all the news about him. It’s just a terrible thing and so scary.” said Mr. Mike Everett, a teacher at Sharon High.

Not only were the contents of the show incredibly realistic, the actor looks quite similar to Jeffrey Dahmer himself, “The resemblance between the character and the actual murderer, Jeffrey Dahmer, is so eerily similar that the families were definitely hurt by that,” added student Ethan Horvitz. 

Netflix is neglecting the impact the show may have on people due to the masses of money they’re likely making due to their new show, “If the show benefited the victims’ families in some way, it wouldn’t feel so harsh and careless. It’s sad that they’re just making money off of this tragedy. That’s just greed,” Isbell continued. 

After years of trying to cope and move past such a hard time, people affected from this trauma are now reminded of what was probably the hardest time in their lives, “It’s got to be tough for the people who had been affected by Dahmer’s actions to watch and relive the story they’re trying to forget,” said Horvitz.

“Although I think it is a good show, I think it is ethically wrong and upsetting that the show is aired despite the numerous people stating it is causing reminders of their trauma,” Doljenkova added. 

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