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The Dahmer Backlash Is Getting Worse After New Set Details Emerge

When one crafts a story about one of the most prolific serial killers in the history of the United States, one can probably expect a fair amount of backlash in some areas. Whether it is a supposed glamorization of murder, a disregard for the families of victims, or perhaps even trying to capitalize on the pain and suffering of others, entertainment based on real-life tragic events puts some people on edge, and for very good reason. As such, Netflix's latest foray into mass murder territory with "Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story" is causing quite a stir, and that isn't just based on the content, but behind-the-scenes issues as well.

Starring Evan Peters as the infamous Jeffrey Dahmer, this streaming series looks at both Dahmer's childhood and his victims. The details are sordid and stomach-churning, which is why there have been several enduring books, stories, and legends surrounding the killer. Currently holding around a 53% critic score and an 84% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, "Dahmer" is proving to be divisive, but the production of the series was also a struggle for some of those involved. Here's why. 

Netflix had to remove an LGBTQ tag, and a family member of a victim has spoken out

The popularity of Netflix's Dahmer should not be underestimated despite the critical response to the show, as the series has set a staggering record by being the most watched program in 60 countries, and netting around 196.2 million viewed hours. However, Netflix's first mistake, as reported by Variety, earned some viewers' ire by tagging the streaming show with an "LGBTQ" tag, which is normally used to celebrate inclusive content, and not shows involving serial killers. The real Dahmer murdered many LGBTQ people of color (via the LA Times). This caused an immediate backlash, and Netflix removed the meta description from "Dahmer."

This isn't the only issue surrounding "Dahmer," with one of the victim's family members coming forward with an essay for Insider. Rita Isbell, who is the sister of Errol Lindsay, had her statement from Jeffrey Dahmer's trial recreated in Netflix's show, which didn't exactly sit well with her. She said, "When I saw some of the show, it bothered me, especially when I saw myself — when I saw my name come across the screen and this lady saying verbatim exactly what I said." She later added, "I was never contacted about the show. I feel like Netflix should've asked if we mind or how we felt about making it. They didn't ask me anything. They just did it." Lindsey then said that she wouldn't feel as bad if the family of the victims would have gotten a cut of the profits, and stated, "It's sad that they're just making money off of this tragedy. That's just greed."

One of the production assistants on Dahmer said it was one of the worst sets they have ever worked on

Some of the crew of "Dahmer" also had major issues with the production of the drama series. According to the LA Times, production assistant Kim Alsup wrote in a now private tweet, "I worked on this project and I was 1 of 2 Black people on the crew and they kept calling me her name. We both had braids. She was dark skin and 5'10. I'm 5'5. Working on this took everything I had as I was treated horribly." She added, "I was always being called someone else's name, the only other Black girl who looked nothing like me, and I learned the names for 300 background extras."

In an interview with the LA Times, Alsup elaborated that she hadn't watched the series, saying, "I just feel like it's going to bring back too many memories of working on it. I don't want to have these PTSD types of situations. The trailer itself gave me PTSD, which is why I ended up writing that tweet and I didn't think that anybody was going to read."

Alsup also lamented, "It was one of the worst shows that I've ever worked on" and alleged that there were no mental health coordinators available on set. A Netflix spokesperson told the LA Times that all crew are provided access to free health and wellness resources, including therapists. Regardless, it seems as if controversy has followed this new show at almost every step of the process.