The murders of Jeffrey Dahmer are in the Hollywood spotlight, and the family of one of his victims isn’t too happy about it.
On Wednesday, Netflix dropped “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” a series co-created by Ryan Murphy (“Pose,” “American Crime Story”) that stars Evan Peters as the titular killer. But just a day after the series hit the platform, Eric Perry tweeted that the series is making his family relive the nightmare of Errol Lindsey’s murder.
“I’m not telling anyone what to watch, I know true crime media is huge rn, but if you’re actually curious about the victims, my family (the Isbell’s) are pissed about this show,” he said in a tweet on Thursday.
Perry retweeted a video that seemed to compare a scene from the Netflix series to real-life courtroom footage of Rita Isbell, Lindsey’s sister, charging at Dahmer. In the scene, actor DaShawn Barnes portrays Isbell and rushes Peters’ Dahmer before she is stopped by courtroom security.
In a follow-up tweet, Perry said, “like recreating my cousin having an emotional breakdown in court in the face of the man who tortured and murdered her brother is WILD.”
From the late 70s to the early 90s, Dahmer killed 17 people, most of whom were people of color. “Monster,” however, isn’t the first or only entertainment project to follow Dahmer’s crimes. The murderer’s killing spree has been the subject of dozens of television, film and podcast projects.
“It’s retraumatizing over and over again, and for what?” Perry said in his first post. “How many movies/shows/documentaries do we need?”
In another pair of tweets shared Thursday evening, Perry said that the creative teams behind true crime projects “don’t notify families when they do this,” since it’s “all public record.”
“My family found out when everyone else did,” he said.
“So when they say they’re doing this ‘with respect to the victims’ or ‘honoring the dignity of the families,’ no one contacts them,” he continued. “My cousins wake up every few months at this point with a bunch of calls and messages and they know there’s another Dahmer show. It’s cruel.”
Other Twitter users voiced support for Perry and his family, also slamming Netflix for its “despicable” and “sick” revisiting of events. Additional users called out the glorification serial killers and the popularity of the true crime genre.
“True crime media is a huge business and thrives off the pain and re-traumatization of victims and their families,” Twitter user @shortk8ttv said in a retweet. “I encourage everyone to consider these real human beings when you choose your entertainment and ask yourself how you’d feel if you were in the same situation.”
“If you can’t change the narrative, if you’re not interested in the ethical angle, if you’re not genuinely invested in the victims’ stories, don’t make a film,” tweeted author Hallie Rubenhold. “Unethical true crime has a cost.”
Netflix did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment on Friday.
Even before the series dropped, Netflix caught heat for a trailer released last Friday.
“Idk about some of y’all but I don’t think the murders of black, gay men should be used for entertainment or profit,” one user said.
“Do serial killers really need this much screen time?” said another Twitter user wrote.