In his second appearance in two days to talk about Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, creator Ryan Murphy said his goal for the limited series was to tell a “complicated humans story.”
“We weren’t really interested in Dahmer the monster,” Murphy said at a quasi-press conference Saturday at Netflix headquarters. “It was [about] who was complicit in making the monster. There were many, many different things involved in that. It was a complicated human story … it tackled systemic racism, homophobia. We were always thinking of the victims.”
Murphy thinks the limited series has been so popular — he said that sometime in the next week, one billion hours will have been streamed by viewers — because “the world is such a dark place” and people need a place to “put their anxiety.”
“I think since Covid, people are really interested in mental health,” continued Murphy.
Repeating what he said Thursday at a SAG event, Murphy said his team spent a lot of time researching the serial killer and “did our due diligence” by reaching out to 20 friends and family of the victims. “We didn’t hear back,” he said simply.
Murphy was joined at the event by stars Evan Peters, Richard Jenkins and Niecy Nash. Questions by reporters and critics were curated and asked by Netflix staff. Murphy, who also served as a moderator, did not address the backlash from the victims’ families, who have said publicly that they never heard from his team.
“We were desperate to get other input,” Murphy said about the researching process. “We relied heavily on several sources.”
Peters plays the notorious serial killer in the ten-part series, which is largely told from the point of view of the victims, and dives deeply into the police incompetence and apathy that allowed the Wisconsin native to go on a multiyear killing spree. The series dramatizes at least 10 instances where Dahmer was almost apprehended but ultimately let go.
The series comes from Murphy and Ian Brennan, who created it and exec produce alongside Alexis Martin Woodall, Eric Kovtun, Evan Peters, Janet Mock, and Carl Franklin.
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