In response to that popular Netflix series about Jeffrey Dahmer, Dr. Phil says he will have actual victims of the serial killer help tell the real story on his show this week. In DAHMER – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, co-created by Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan, Evan Peters portrays the titular cannibal. While the series has garnered criticism for different reasons, Peters has drawn a lot of praise from critics commending his performance as Dahmer.
But what we saw in the show isn’t what Dahmer is really like, according to Dr. Phil. This week, the television host has been airing a three-part series on Dahmer’s story, and this includes interviews with two men who’d been victimized by Dahmer in the military. Dahmer’s father, Lionel Dahmer, is also interviewed for the show. Speaking with TMZ about the case, Dr. Phil says that his conversations with the victims provide a different picture of what Dahmer was like in reality compared to Peters’ portrayal.
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“Our approach to this is talking to the real people that were involved in this,” Dr. Phil says, seemingly taking a jab at the criticism over Dahmer’s creators not doing the same. “I have to tell you, many of them were very upset by the Netflix special. I say that at two levels: One, that is just kind of brought everything back to them, and by them, I’m talking about family members of those who were lost.
He added, “I talked to two men that were actually traumatized by him, raped by him, beaten by him, tortured by him, but survived and got away. And they say who he really is and how he was depicted in that series are two different people.”
Did the Netflix Series Glorify Jeffrey Dahmer?
In speaking with those who’d survived Dahmer, Dr. Phil was able to shed some more light on the backlash to the Netflix series. He says that they felt like the series was designed for viewers to better understand Dahmer’s motivations, perhaps even have some empathy for him, while they argue that the reality is that he was a “cold-blooded killer” who deserves no pity whatsoever.
“I think they feel like that in the Netflix special, they weren’t excusing what he did, but they felt like it was kind of romanticized and that it was contextualized in that you sort of, there was a pull to kind of understand how he got to be where he was, and an empathy pull,” Dr. Phil said. “And they said that is not who he was. This is a cold-blooded killer that took great pleasure in torturing people, dragging it out and then murdering them.”
Despite the controversy, the Dahmer series was a big hit for Netflix, drawing very high viewership within its first month of release. It has resulted in Monster getting renewed for two more seasons, each of which will focus on other infamous, “monstrous” criminals who had a big effect on society. The true crime craze continues, regardless of the backlash that it sometimes can bring.