Ryan Murphy’s ‘Monster’This Is The Latest in An Increasingly Uncomfortable Fashion Trend


By now, you’ve probably heard about Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. You’ve probably gathered that it’s Netflix’s latest problematic true-crime retelling that stars Evan Peters in the role of the infamous serial killer. You may not be aware of the depth of this controversy.

‘Monster’It’s been quite the rollout

Let’s just recap: Monster Follow Jeffrey Dahmer through the years that preceded, followed by and after his reign as terror. It dramatizes the serial killer’s descent into a life of crime, as well as the many times he evaded capture. Ryan Murphy executive produces the series and Evan Peters stars in the main role. It was viewed 299.84,000,000 hours, making this the most watched series debut.

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Despite all the hype, the series has a current critic consensus of only 50% on Rotten Tomatoes. Family members of some of Dahmer’s victims spoke up, questioning the creators’ intentions. The critics acknowledged that Murphy did his best to not glorify Dahmer. But what good is the series if it doesn’t increase public fascination with Dahmer?

But, these details are often lost in the world of social media. It is not as disturbing as it appears that serial killers draw more than innocent fascination. Just as the nation witnessed when Ted Bundy was captured, some people develop a bizarre attraction to these dangerous men when they’re safely confined in a TV screen. Monster This episode was no exception. Despite all its efforts to dissuade viewers from watching the show, women are still sharing clips with disclaimers, such as: “I know he’s a serial killer, but…”

Far From Murphy’s First Offense

However, this trend didn’t start with Monster. To really understand the scope Monster‘s cultural significance, there are two points to hit: Ryan Murphy’This includes both his work as well as the true crime genre. If you were on social media in the 2010s, then you’ve seen the fanaticism that follows Murphy. It started with GleeHowever, it was consolidated with American Horror Story.

The very first season of AHSEvan Peters was the homicidal teenage Tate Langdon. Fans watched Peters’ character commit unspeakable acts, and, despite the depravity, they collectively swooned. Teen girls wrote fanfiction and made fan edits of Peters’ murderous character with an alarming lack of restraint or self-awareness. From there, the obsession with Peters’ criminality only grew. Murphy gave Peters multiple sinister characters over the course several seasons.

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll notice that Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story isn’t an anomaly. It’s the culmination of themes Murphy has flirted with for over a decade now. It’s the culmination of themes Murphy has flirted with for over a decade now. Rotten Tomatoes: A consensus of criticsThis is how it should be said: “While Monster is seemingly self-aware of the peril in glorifying Jeffrey Dahmer, creator Ryan Murphy’s salacious style nevertheless tilts this horror story into the realm of queasy exploitation.”

Is it possible to commit ethical true crime?

However, there’s another prong to this problem. Once again, Murphy didn’t create serial killer fanaticism, he’s only the latest producer to tap into it. We now have to ask the question: Is it ethical and productive to contribute to true crime? Or, to put it another way, can we talk about the most prolific criminals of the world without glorifying them?

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Of course, there isn’t a clear answer. Murphy could have taken some obvious precautions. Consulting the victims’ families would have been a good start. It doesn’t sit quite right when creators try to tell other people’s stories for them. It’s hard to accept Murphy’s claim that they’re telling the story of Jeffrey Dahmer through the victims’ points of view when they never actually contacted the surviving victims or their families.

Furthermore, there’s a clear financial aspect to this. This series will make Murphy and Netflix a lot of money. Yet, according to the sister of one of Dahmer’s victims, no one actually affected by the crimes will see a cent. Why Dahmer? Did Dahmer’s story need Another dramatization? Did Ted Bundy’s story need another when Extremely wicked, shockingly evil and vileYou want to stream the service?

Most likely, the answer is no. But the real question is, will people actually watch it? The answer to that question is a resounding “Yes.” After Monster, there’s no doubt about that anymore. While the criticisms were likely noted and filed away, there’s no way Netflix is going to be able to resist chasing that next payday. Monster may be a culmination of decades of problematic killer-worship, but it certainly won’t be the end of it.

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