Netflix Is Being Accused Of Treating “Serial Killers Like They’re The Avengers” After Announcing That Its Jeffrey Dahmer Series Will Return For More Seasons Focusing On “Other Monstrous Figures”

“So glad that for years we’ve wrestled with the ethical consequences of true crime fanaticism and finally we’ve landed on a solution: ‘serial killer extended universe.’”

Netflix has announced that its Monster series will return for two more seasons delving into the lives and crimes of more infamous serial killers.

The first installment, Dahmer - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, premiered on Sept. 21 and focused on the crimes of Jeffrey Dahmer, who killed 17 predominantly Black men and boys between 1978 and 1991.

Led by Evan Peters and created by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan, the 10-episode series proved to be a major success for Netflix, currently sitting as the streamer’s second-most-viewed English TV show after Stranger Things.

However, despite the creators’ intentions of “exposing” Dahmer’s “unconscionable crimes” and illuminating how his victims were failed by “the systemic racism and institutional failures of the police,” the show’s huge viewership didn’t come without an equal helping of controversy.

One of the main criticisms was that some felt the series exploited Dahmer’s crimes for profit while forcing his victims’ relatives to relive their trauma. The mother of Tony Hughes, who was among those killed by Dahmer, even spoke out to question how the show was greenlit.

Murphy pushed back against the backlash — namely, widespread accusations that Dahmer’s crimes had been glamorized by the production — saying during an interview with the New York Times last month that he made the show because the story “examines how easy it is to get away with things with the white privilege aspects.”

The writer responded to criticism for a second time soon after, adding during an appearance at Los Angeles’ DGA Theater that he reached out to “around 20 of the victims’ families and friends” in the three and a half years spent researching for the show.

“It’s something that we researched for a very long time,” Murphy said. “And not a single person responded to us in that process. So we relied very, very heavily on our incredible group of researchers who… I don’t even know how they found a lot of this stuff.”

Numerous family members had previously contradicted this claim, including Errol Lindsey’s cousin, Eric Perry, who tweeted that his family found out about the show “when everyone else did.”

Ok, I did not expect that tweet to get this much attention. To answer the main question, no, they don’t notify families when they do this. It’s all public record, so they don’t have to notify (or pay!) anyone. My family found out when everyone else did.

Twitter: @ericthulhu

Lindsey’s sister, Rita Isbell, also told Insider that she was “never contacted” about Murphy’s plans despite her victim impact statement at Dahmer’s sentencing in 1992 being re-created for the series.

And now, in spite of the growing backlash against Dahmer and the wider “true crime industrial complex” that fuels the public demand for shows of this nature, Netflix is doubling down on its move, announcing this week that Monster has been renewed to become its own anthology series.

In a tweet on Monday, the streaming service said that subscribers can expect two more seasons of Monster, focusing on “other monstrous figures who have impacted society.”

Following the record-breaking success of DAHMER - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, Ryan Murphy & Ian Brennan will create two more installments that will focus on other monstrous figures who have impacted society. A second season of The Watcher has also been greenlit!

Twitter: @netflix

The announcement quickly sparked heated reactions across social media, with many viewers coming to Twitter to condemn the “commercialisation of murderers” in the name of entertainment.

“This tweet is so wrong. The commercialisation of murderers, what the fuck,” someone responded, with others declaring the renewal “disgusting and unnecessary.

This tweet is so wrong. The commercialisation of murderers, what the fuck https://t.co/OKVcHziypS

Twitter: @Tobias_R__

Amid the backlash, critics have been questioning Netflix’s apparent move to “assemble a cinematic universe” of “monstrous figures” with the extension of the Monster series, with one person saying the decision has pushed society back “years.”

@DiscussingFilm Netflix continuing to push society back years

Twitter: @Junabee710

“So glad that for years we’ve wrestled with the ethical consequences of true crime fanaticism and finally we’ve landed on a solution: ‘serial killer extended universe,’” someone else tweeted, garnering more than 30,000 likes.

so glad that for years we’ve wrestled with the ethical consequences of true crime fanaticism and finally we’ve landed on a solution: “serial killer extended universe” https://t.co/M3SUspsrj7

Twitter: @been_herde

In agreement, another user accused Netflix of “franchising a bunch of psychotic, misogynistic serial killers like they're the fucking avengers.”

@loudmouthjulia franchising a bunch of psychotic, misogynistic serial killers like they're the fucking avengers unreal

Twitter: @MitchyD

Of course, given the amount of people who tuned into Dahmer, it’s hardly a surprise to hear that Netflix will continue to fund the series, prompting some to accuse the company of using people’s trauma to “peddle” subscriptions.

@PopBase Mhm, yep, big fan of the dramatization of serial killers' actions for consumption as entertainment with zero input from the friends and families of victims who would rather not have their dead loved ones' stories used to peddle Netflix subscriptions.

Twitter: @ajaxtheabrasive

This sparked a wider conversation about the fascination with true crime, with one user tweeting: “when you mix america’s fetish for heinous crime storytelling, a desensitized audience, and late stage capitalism this is what you get. it’s repulsive”

when you mix america’s fetish for heinous crime storytelling, a desensitized audience, and late stage capitalism this is what you get. it’s repulsive https://t.co/KEkAukA5IR

Twitter: @vivrantgyal

Others agreed with this sentiment, saying that in conjunction with the renewal of the show, viewers’ desires for often exploitative true crime content is the bigger issue at hand.

“I’m not a true crime fan but it’s funny how people are mad at Netflix and not the hundreds of millions of people who watched lol,” someone said, suggesting that the backlash is being misdirected.

I’m not a true crime fan but it’s funny how people are mad at Netflix and not the hundreds of millions of people who watched lol https://t.co/SXTK6HkKIg

Twitter: @jordantheboone

“ppl blaming hate watching but dahmer wasn’t successful bc of hate watch,” another person agreed. “avg ppl genuinely tuned into this bc the mythos of serial killers is alluring to one’s mundane life. That's why true crime is so successful. these are characters to them not real awful human beings w victims.”

ppl blaming hate watching but dahmer wasn’t successful bc of hate watch. avg ppl genuinely tuned into this bc the mythos of serial killers is alluring to one’s mundane life. that’s why true crime is so successful. these are characters to them not real awful human beings w victims https://t.co/zTFizGbRJJ

Twitter: @thechurchofmoe

This prompted others to suggest that Netflix could instead produce shows that center on fictional crimes, as opposed to “making money off the trauma of real people who are literally still alive today.”

Maybe create fictional killers instead of making money off the Trauma of real people who are literally still alive today and there families https://t.co/s93D5CC2QX

Twitter: @SpiderKen1995

“Netflix is so wrong for that…” someone else wrote. “Y’all can be making new series with good and positive themes but they decide to profit out of tragedies and sadness.”

@PopBase Netflix is so wrong for that… y’all can be making new series with good and positive themes but they decide to profit out of tragedies and sadness

Twitter: @delightful_pov

BuzzFeed News has reached out to Netflix for comment.

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