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Ryan Murphy Weighs In On Netflix's Choice To List Dahmer Under The LGBTQ Tag

It's fair to say that Ryan Murphy's chilling miniseries "Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story" is one of the most controversial shows of 2022 — something which should be unsurprising, given its subject matter. The miniseries explores the life of cannibalistic serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer (Evan Peters), taking a hard look at his troubled past and the extreme violence of his crimes.

The show was swarmed with controversy from the moment it was released, as the real-life families of Dahmer's victims spoke out to condemn the series for exploiting their loss and "retraumatizing" them through the show's explicit portrayal of Dahmer's crimes. On top of the problematic nature of the subject matter, there was also controversy behind-the-scenes which led one production assistant to claim that "Dahmer" had the worst set she's ever worked on.

Now, series creator Ryan Murphy has come out in defense of one of the series' most troubling criticisms: the backlash surrounding the series' controversial label as "LGBTQ" on Netflix.

Ryan Murphy believes that the series is still about the LGBTQ community, even if it's not uplifting

When "Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story" first launched back in September of 2022, it carried the "LGBTQ" tag on Netflix. This tag received an immense amount of criticism from fans, many of whom found it insensitive and problematic due to the numerous LGBTQ victims that Dahmer murdered throughout his lifetime. Although director Ryan Murphy certainly understands why some fans found this decision problematic, he recently spoke out to defend the decision to tag "Monster" as LGBTQ — as it's still an LGBTQ story despite its disturbing content.

"It's about homophobia," Murphy explained while speaking to Variety. "I have a saying: 'My job as an artist is to hold up a mirror about what happened.' It's ugly. It's not pretty ... some of this outrage is directed at the frame of the mirror instead of the reflection. I try and say, 'I really understand why you're upset about the inclusion of that. I understand it, but I also disagree with it personally.'"

In addition to his assertion that the series itself is a reflection of the violence that Dahmer committed against the LGBTQ community, Murphy also theorized that the tag might have resulted due to his own involvement in the series since he identifies as a gay man. Although Netflix did ultimately remove the LGBTQ tag after this immense backlash, it's clear that Ryan Murphy still believes that "Dahmer" deserved the tag — even if it's not as uplifting as other LGBTQ shows on Netflix.