Is the Jeffrey Dahmer Netflix Show Helpful or Harmful?

Is the Jeffrey Dahmer Netflix Show Helpful or Harmful?

Carter Jordan, Staff Writer

Netflix has recently added a new 10 episode show called “Dahmer.” This show recounts the life of Jeffrey Dahmer, one of the most infamous serial killers in American history. He drugged, experimented on, killed, cut up, ate, and many other horrific things to 17 or more victims throughout 10+ years. The cruel story of Dahmer was put into a series to help inform the public on what he did to the unfortunate victims, and it is based on the real life events that took place. Although meant to be helpful, it seems as if the show is being taken in different manners than intended.

After the show dropped on Netflix on September 21, 2022, people were quick to notice and talk about it. Before even watching the show, people had an issue with it because of the families that were directly affected by Jeffrey Dahmer. Those families who had a loved one attacked or killed by Jeffrey Dahmer did not approve of the show being made. They found the show to be traumatic and disturbing. This caused people to be upset with Netflix for making the show without approval from the families. The unfortunate truth about these types of shows is that they aren’t actually required to get approval from the victims. But this negative effect on the families started arguments on why people were actually watching the show. People started to wonder why anyone would watch the show knowing it upsets the actual victims. Was it to learn and understand, or to watch and be entertained?

The more and more people watched the show, the more the answer to that question started to become clear. People started taking their opinions to the internet. Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and other social platforms were all starting to trend with Jeffrey Dahmer. But the biggest issues were coming on the most popular social platform at the moment, TikTok. TikTok always brings attention to controversial topics, and unfortunately it has received a lot of bad attention. People started to make jokes on things like how Dahmer danced after he was done eating his victims, the way he talked, and the way he acted. These jokes weren’t too bad considering it didn’t really have anything to do with the actual victims. But yet again, why were the biggest things talked about from the show the “funny” things in the show. Because it was informative, or because it was entertaining? The jokes started to get increasingly worse with the more people who finished watching the show. People started making graphic jokes (with pictures) about the murdered victims. What message is sent out when people are going and making graphic jokes about the victims instead of discussing the actual events that took place throughout the serial killer’s killing spree? This started to really show that a lot of people were watching the show for entertainment rather than being informed.

Not only were there jokes being made about the people and events in the show, but people were also starting to make TikToks about how they genuinely felt sympathy for Jeffrey Dahmer. Along with that, they were also saying that they felt more sympathy for Dahmer than the actual victims. This raised the question on whether or not Netflix made the series properly. People who finished watching the show started to believe that Netflix made the show with the intention of making people feel a little sorry for Dahmer because of the lonely and abandoned persona they gave him throughout the show. There were also TikToks starting to be made sexualizing Jeffrey Dahmer in concerning and rather disturbing ways (like washing the blood of his victims off his arms).

People seem to be treating this show like it is a made up fantasy story instead of the true story that it really is. The high amount of people who have sat and binge watched the series instead of taking breaks from watching the show is concerning to many. A lot of people claim that they were so intrigued by the show because they like true crime, but the things that they do after finishing the show don’t represent that they watched the show to gain knowledge, but rather to be entertained.