Ryan Murphy Claims He Tried To Contact Dahmer Victim Families Before Show

Ryan Murphy claims he attempted to contact family members of Jeffrey Dahmer’s victims before he went forward with the production of Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. Murphy is the producer and showrunner best known for his work on Glee, American Horror Story, American Crime Story. Much of Murphy’s chosen subject matter has focused on ripped-from-the-headlines news stories. And while in the past he has been able to steer clear of controversy regarding these real-world stories, his latest series Dahmer, has faced some backlash.

Dahmer – Monster:The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is Murphy’s latest attempt at depicting the true story behind a notorious American tragedy. The limited series on Netflix focuses on the actions and daily life of Jeffrey Dahmer, a serial killer operating in Wisconsin in the 1980s. Played by frequent Murphy collaborator Evan Peters, Jeffrey Dahmer is famous for imprisoning and cannibalizing his victims. The series is the fourth onscreen depiction of the serial killer in recent years, with past titles including 2017’s My Friend Dahmer and the 2002 film Dahmer, which starred Jeremy Renner.

Per The Hollywood Reporter, Murphy pushed back against some negative reactions to his show. Murphy was speaking to a crowd at the DGA theater in Los Angeles on October 27th when he addressed possible objections to the depiction of Dahmer’s victims. His quote can be read below:

“It’s something that we researched for a very long time. And we, over the course of the three, three and a half years when we were really writing it, working on it, we reached out to 20, around 20 of the victims’ families and friends trying to get input, trying to talk to people and not a single person responded to us in that process.”

Dahmer Show Controversy Explained

Despite Murphy claiming to have attempted to contact the families, some family members dispute this. Eric Perry, a cousin of one of Dahmer’s victims Errol Perry, took to Twitter just after the show’s premiere to say that the family of Perry found out about the Netflix series only after its premiere. Another family member, the mother of Dahmer-victim Tony Hughes maintained that the show took liberties with her son’s story, saying « It didn’t happen like that. » Netflix also faced criticism for initially using the LGBTQ tag on the show, which was later removed.

Murphy certainly toned down his usual campy approach for Dahmer: Monster-The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, doing his best to match the tenor of the story he was telling, and the pain left behind by Dahmer. But Murphy’s reality-based projects will always carry an element of theatricality, and it is only natural for that to be objected to by people who experienced the story he’s telling first-hand. Disapproval of true crime depictions is as old as the genre itself, and Murphy will certainly face more backlash as he continues to sift through American tragedies for his subject matter. Still, it remains unlikely that the backlash will change Murphy’s approach as entertainment value will often trump accurate depictions.

Source: THR