Ryan Murphy: Dahmer victims’ families didn’t answer inquiries

Ryan Murphy says he and the writing team on “Dahmer” spent over 3 1/2 years reaching out to 20 family members and friends of the serial killer’s victims, but no one reached out to them.

“Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” which was a hit for Netflix, was criticized for its portrayal of the horrific nature of the Milwaukee man’s crimes and portrayal of the victims.

“Over the course of the three, three and a half years that we’ve actually been writing it and working on it, we’ve reached out to 20, about 20 families and friends of the victims for input and to talk to people,” Murphy said at one Thursday night Directors Guild of America event in Los Angeles, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“And not a single person has responded to us in this process.”

Murphy said the group relied heavily on its researchers, which “sought us day and night to uncover the truth about these people.”

Following backlash over the miniseries, Murphy’s recent comments contradicted what a victim’s relative told The Times in late September.

“We’re all one traumatic event away from having the worst day of your life reduced to your neighbor’s favorite show,” said Eric Perry, a cousin of victim Errol Lindsey. “And above all, if you want to create something that uses people and real-world experiences, you should at least contact those people out of respect.”

Lindsey’s sister, Rita Isbell, wrote in an insider essay around the same time: “I was never contacted about the show. I feel like Netflix should have asked if we mind it or how we felt doing it. You didn’t ask me anything. They just did it.”

A representative for Murphy did not immediately respond to a request for further comment on Friday.

When the Hollywood Reporter’s story was tweeted on Friday, Perry led the way with the Murphy quote, “not a single person responded.” quotes the tweet and added a meme of a woman with a questioning expression on her face and the words “(put 2 and 2 together)”.

“I wonder why,” Perry wrote.

Dahmer killed, dismembered, and in some cases over 13 years, exterminated 17 victims in Wisconsin and Ohio. All of his victims were men or boys, and most were gay people of color. Netflix originally had an LGBTQ tag on the show, but removed it shortly after release.

Actor Shaun Brown, who played Tracy Edwards, the man who managed to escape Dahmer and led police to arrest him, commented on the show in a Sept. 21 statement on social media.

“It’s very strange to get attention for someone else’s misery. Especially on a global scale,” Brown tweeted. “I’m not naïve to the fact that murder and true crime are sensational. However, I ask you to remember while watching this show that these men were sons, best friends, cousins ​​and uncles and had dreams, hopes and goals that never came to fruition.

“I have so much love for Tracy Edwards and I hope that through my portrayal you will too. I hope you have love for all victims and maybe with time you will have more love for each other.”

Shirley Hughes, the mother of Dahmer victim Tony Hughes, previously told the Guardian that she didn’t understand how the miniseries could have come about, saying her son’s story “didn’t happen that way”. “I don’t understand how they can use our names and publish stuff like that,” she told the British newspaper.

It was possible because the details of the case that led to Dahmer’s 15-life sentence in 1992 are public knowledge. And Murphy’s “Dahmer” is just the latest of dozens of television, film, and podcast projects focused on the murders.

“We really want it to be about celebrating these victims,” ​​Paris Barclay, who directed episodes six and ten of “Dahmer,” said Thursday at the DGA event. “As Tony [Hughes] writes “I’m not going away” on the last card, that’s what this show is about. It’s about making sure that these people don’t get erased from history and that they have a place and that they are recognized and that they were important and lived a full life. And they came from all sorts of places, but they were real people.”

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/tv/story/2022-10-28/jeffrey-dahmer-netflix-ryan-murphy-family-members Ryan Murphy: Dahmer victims’ families didn’t answer inquiries

Sarah Ridley

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