The project, based on a true story, was created by filmmaker Ryan Murphy and stars actor Evan Peters as the protagonist. The plot revolves around the cases of Jeffrey Dahmer., Dahmer was a serial killer who terrorized the United States between 1978 and 1991, targeting gay men. He confessed to murdering 17 young men, with his crimes involving rape, necrophilia, and cannibalism.
Stephanie Filo, one of the producers of the series, revealed in an interview with Variety this month that the production took measures to ensure that the portrayal of the events did not inappropriately glamorize or humanize the criminal.
One of the scenes that underwent alterations occurs during Christmas when Dahmer returns from the military to have dinner with his parents. The scene was shortened, and other situations were introduced to provide context for the crimes committed by the killer. The approach was designed to highlight the disturbing aspects of Dahmer’s behavior, rather than focusing on moments that could generate empathy.
Stephanie Filo explained: “This intercutting of seeing the strange things he had already done helped provide context to the terrible things that were happening, rather than just having a guy hanging out with his parents”.
Another scene that received special attention is the one where impactful statements from the victims are read. Stephanie Filo expressed her responsibility in ensuring that these scenes were treated with respect for the real individuals involved. She stated that the series went through several edits to find the right tone and not cause further distress to the families of the victims.
Negative reaction to Evan Peters’ Golden Globe win.
Evan Peters’ portrayal of Jeffrey Dahmer in the series earned him the award for Best Actor at the 2023 Golden Globes. However, this victory sparked controversy and discomfort among the families of the real victims of the killer.
Shirley Hughes, the mother of Tony Hughes, one of Dahmer’s 17 confirmed victims, expressed her dissatisfaction with the award. She was not only bothered by the series itself but also by the fact that the portrayal of a serial killer was being recognized with an award.
In an interview with TMZ, Hughes stated: “There are many sick people around the world. People who get acting roles as killers maintain an obsession. This allows sick individuals to thrive on fame.”
Shirley also highlighted the lack of recognition for the victims and their families in Evan Peters’ acceptance of the award. She argued that the actor should have mentioned the tragedy and pain caused by Dahmer’s crimes in his speech.
Jeffrey Dahmer case
Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer was an American serial killer who murdered 17 men between 1978 and 1991, with the majority of the crimes occurring between 1989 and 1991. His crimes involved rape, necrophilia, and cannibalism.
Dahmer was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder, and psychotic disorder. However, he was legally convicted and sentenced to life in prison on February 15, 1992. He died two years later as a victim of a beating in prison.
He is considered one of the most notorious serial killers in U.S. history due to his extreme cruelty and sadism. He always chose victims who lived on the fringes of society, whose disappearances wouldn’t attract much attention from authorities. With the exception of two cases, Dahmer targeted gay men he felt attracted to.
His father, Lionel Dahmer, wrote a book in 1994 titled “A Father’s Story”, in which he took responsibility for his own negligence in raising Jeffrey and donated a significant portion of the book’s profits to the families of the victims. He also mentioned that he and his new wife wouldn’t change their last name and stated that they loved Jeffrey regardless of his crimes.