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01st Oct 2022

Whoopi Goldberg unleashes on the new Jeffrey Dahmer Netflix series

Steve Hopkins

‘If that were my family, I’d be enraged’

Whoopi Goldberg has unleashed on Netflix’s new Jeffrey Dahmer series raising concerns for the families of his victims.

The actor slammed Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, starring Evan Peters, which chronicles Dahmer’s killing spree across America’s midwest, and hasn’t stopped making headlines since it became available on 22 September.

Dahmer was was convicted of murdering 15 men and boys between 1978 and 1991 and sentenced to serve 15 consecutive life sentences in February 1992. Dahmer murdered at least 17 men, most young, gay African Americans who he lured back to his home by promising to pay them to pose nude for photographs. He then drugged and strangled them and generally mutilated and ocassionally cannibalised their bodies. He was arrested in July 22, 1991 and entered a plea of guilty but insane in 15 of the 17 murders he confessed to. Two years after being jailed, Dahmer, then aged 34, was killed by fellow inmate Christopher Scarver.

Goldberg spoke out about the Dahmer series on The View and made the point that the serial killer didn’t commit his crimes that long ago and that many of the his victims’ families are still alive.

“Ryan [Murphy] is an amazing artist,” the 66-year-old said.

But, Goldberg added: “If that were my family, I’d be enraged. Because it is being killed over and watching your child get [killed], and then you have to listen to how it went and all this other stuff that, as a person who’s lost someone like that, it’s just – you can’t imagine.”

The Sister Act actor continued: “Over and over and over! I think, if you’re gonna tell these stories, be aware that a lot of the people who are part of these stories are still with us.”

Not everyone on The View was so critical of the series, which also aims to show how a combination of racism, homophobia, and police failings enabled Dahmer to kill for over a decade.

Sunny Hostin said that the series is serving an important educational purpose and highlighted how that the “young, Black and Brown gay men” who were targeted by Dahmer still face a lot of oppression.

“These communities are still marginalised, and sometimes treated the same way,” Hostin continued. “There were other pieces to this story that even I didn’t know,” Hostin said.

She also pointed out the disturbing fact that the officers who had failed to catch Dahmer were reinstated after initially losing their jobs – one of whom, John Balcerzak, retired in 2017.

But while Hostin made a critical point about the series illuminating historical failings, the families of Dahmer’s victims have been critical of it and echoed Goldberg’s sentiment.

Rita Isbell, whose brother’s murder and her court appearance was depicted in the show, told Insider that watching it “felt like reliving it all over again.”

She added: “I feel like Netflix should’ve asked if we mind or how we felt about making it. They didn’t ask me anything. They just did it. “It’s sad that they’re just making money off of this tragedy. That’s just greed.” Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is available to stream on Netflix now.

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