For all its convenience, Netflix comes with its fair share of annoyances, too. There’s, of course, the escalating subscription prices — which currently has one out of every four subscribers reconsidering their memberships. Not to mention the shame that comes with the pop-up message asking if you’re still watching Too Hot to Handle? (The answer is always “yes,” Netflix. Get off my back.) And while placing titles in bizarre, if not just outright wrong categories, is a Netflix specialty, the streamer’s decision to tag Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story as an LGBTQ title has understandably outraged viewers, media, and activists alike.
The new Ryan Murphy miniseries, which portrays the life and death of the notorious cannibalistic serial killer, dropped last week and has already amassed nearly 200 million viewers. While the series has reignited the debate over the way in which true crime series such as Monster re-traumatize the families of the real victims, Netflix has also been called out for one very intentional — and controversial — decision: categorizing Monster as an LGBTQ series. After being faced with a tidal wave of backlash, Advocate reports that Netflix has now removed the tag.
While Netflix has yet to offer an official explanation for its original classification, The Independent wrote that “It has been speculated that the reason the series was initially marked ‘LGBTQ’ was that many of Dahmer’s victims were LGBTQ, or because of Dahmer’s own sexuality.”
In a post that has since gone viral, TikToker lizthelezbo wanted to know why Netflix would categorize the series as LGBTQ. “I know it’s technically true,” she said, “but this is not the representation we’re looking for.”
As Advocate noted, the LGBTQ+ community in Milwaukee — where Dahmer lived when he brutally murdered 17 men and boys over more than a decade between 1978 and his arrest in 1991 — is particularly upset by the series, which stars Evan Peters as Dahmer.
“I feel like it fetishizes this whole horrible moment in Milwaukee history,” drag performer B.J. Daniels, who performed at one of the clubs Dahmer regularly trolled for victims, told Milwaukee ABC affiliate WISN. “I know a lot of my friends, and a lot of people who lived through this period, will not be watching it. They will not be putting money into somebody’s pocket that is literally disturbing the graves of victims.”