He also offered to pay for a memorial to the victims himself.
Amid criticism from family members of some of Jeffrey Dahmer’s real-life victims, Ryan Murphy says he tried reaching out to them for input on Netflix’s “Dahmer” — but those requests went unanswered.
After it premiered — and took off like wildfire on the streamer — one of the loudest critics was Rita Isbell, whose brother Errol Lindsey was killed and whose rage-fueled impact statement during Dahmer’s trial was recreated for the series. She said nobody involved in the show ever reached out to her and accused the creators of “just making money off of this tragedy.”
The mother of another victim, Tony Hughes, also said, “I don’t see how they can use our names and put stuff out like that out there” — while claiming, “it didn’t happen like that” of her son’s death.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, Murphy opened up at a screening this week about how the creative team crafted and researched the narrative of the show, in which Evan Peters stars as the titular serial killer.
“It’s something that we researched for a very long time,” he said. “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.”
“So we relied very, very heavily on our incredible group of researchers who … I don’t even know how they found a lot of this stuff,” he added. “But it was just like a night and day effort to us trying to uncover the truth of these people.”
Murphy said that with the show they weren’t trying to focus on Dahmer the person, but “the monster that he became” and how he got away with his crimes thanks to a mix of white privilege, systemic racism and homophobia.
When star Niecy Nash wondered during the panel why no memorial had been set up for the victims, Murphy reportedly added, “Anything that we could do to get that to happen … I would even be happy to pay for it myself.”
“I do think there should be something. And we’re trying to get a hold of people to talk about that,” he added. “I think there’s some resistance because they think the park would attract people who are interested in paying homage to the macabre…but I think something should be done.”
“Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” is streaming now on Netflix.