Ryan Murphy thought it was wrong for Netflix to remove the LGBTQ tag from Dahmer
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The hit show on the streaming platform follows a dramatisation of the crimes of the prolific serial killer and cannibal who killed 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991.
However, the series' unusual tag caused quite the stir.
Many accused Netflix’s categorisation of romanticising the serial killer’s crimes against the gay community and conveyed a negative image of LGBTQ+ people.
One person on Twitter wrote: “They wouldn't put a heterosexual tag on a hetro murderer's show/doc. Its weird that they did it in the first place.”
Another commented: “The LGBTQ category is for LGBT content where it’s a main focus in the genre, not a fkn serial killer reenactment.”
A third said: “You mean gay people don’t want to be associated with a dude who drugged, raped, murdered, and ate people? Huh who would’ve thought.”
While another shared: “Seeing as he abused queer culture and took advantage of the vulnerabilities queer poc face specifically gay black men that seem about right and it should of never been tagged part of LGBTQ Bffr.”
Following the backlash, Netflix was forced to remove the tag.
However, Ryan Murphy has now defended it being there in the first place.
While the showrunner admitted he understands why subscribers were mad, he believes that homophobia fuelled the cannibal’s crimes.
He told Variety: "It's about homophobia.
"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. Do you want to look at it? If you do, watch it. If you don't, look away, and sometimes, some of this outrage is directed at the frame of the mirror instead of the reflection."
He continued: "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.'"
According to him, marginalised groups were susceptible to Dahmer as crimes were vastly under-reported.
The story wasn't just about Dahmer and his crimes, but of the overall environment of the time that allowed for the shocking murders to happen.
The Washington Post writes: "The long history of police violence and indifference toward the city’s Black and LGBTQ communities enabled the murders by reducing the odds of police intervention."
Due to this, Murphy deems the program’s initial categorisation appropriate.