(Mark Pellin, Headline USA) After receiving weeks of relentless backlash for attaching the LGBTQ search tag to the series Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, Netflix this week removed what critics blasted as a disgraceful and homophobic slur on the LGBT community.
Dahmer was a serial killer and cannibal who preyed for more than a decade on black, gay men. Dahmer ultimately confessed to killing 17 people, mutilating and eating many of the bodies, and was sentenced to 16 life terms. He was murdered in prison in 1994.
Because Dahmer had sex with men and picked up most of his victims from gay nightclubs, the “LGBTQ” label that Netflix used for the series, along with tags of “Ominous,” “Dark,” “Psychological” and “Horror,” seemed reasonably appropriate.
Taking a cue from the perpetually aggrieved LGBT activists who decried linking monkeypox to gay men even though the disease is commonly transferred through gay male sex, critics claimed that just because Dahmer was gay and preyed on gay men, the series didn’t deserve a LGBTQ label.
“I know it’s technically true, but this is not the representation we’re looking for,” one disgruntled TikTok user complained.
The rationale offered by Netflix in one of its promos for the show, starring Evan Peters as Dahmer, didn’t seem to persuade the critics.
“It’s called The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, but it’s not just him and his backstory,” Peters explained. “It’s the repercussions, it’s how society and our system failed to stop him multiple times because of racism, homophobia. It’s just a tragic story.”
But because the series didn’t address homophobia with what LGBT activists deemed “the representation” they demand, the label had to go.
Lololo that’s hysterical by Netflix. Slapping the LGBTQ tag on Dahmer like “Looking for LGBTQ content?? Well boy do we have the show for you! Where every episode another LGBTQ person gets massacred & eaten!
It’s like saying Schindler’s List is a family flick for Jewish people https://t.co/tqmEfy1ngm
— KFC (@KFCBarstool) September 28, 2022
— Pantastically (@Sinuzaki) September 22, 2022
If it were an exploration of his sexuality, maybe. But the way this reads it connects LGBTQ issues to his behavior in a dangerous way.
— Annie, MLIS, They/Them 🍄 🎮 (@dharmascholar) September 21, 2022
Netflix dropping the LGBTQ tag and again caving to activists didn’t sit right with other viewers who argued that the label was an accurate, however tragic and horrific, descriptor of what took place.
“Jeffrey Dahmer was a real person. He murdered real people. He was a gay man,” wrote one viewer.
“He has been historically portrayed in film and television for literally over 30 years over a hundred times and all of a sudden because of a Netflix series, people are acting like he murdered their mom.”
The verdict is in. Jeffrey Dahmer was not gay. pic.twitter.com/PrDpp1Terp
— Boomieleaks (@Boomieleaks) September 27, 2022