Netflix has removed the LGBTQ tag from its Ryan Murphy-created Jeffrey Dahmer limited series, “Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.” The show, starring Evan Peters as the notorious serial killer, launched Sept. 21 on the streaming platform and was categorized under the LGBTQ tag for at least two days. A source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to Variety the LGBTQ tag was officially removed by Friday, Sept. 23.
The decision to categorize “Dahmer” as LGBTQ content ignited controversy on social media, with many subscribers condemning Netflix for the decision (via the Los Angeles Times). The tag is normally used to spotlight shows such as “Heartstopper” and “Sex Education,” both of which include LGBTQ characters and subject matter in a positive light. “Dahmer” technically does feature an LGBTQ character since the serial killer was a gay man, but as one subscriber wrote on TikTok, “This is not the representation we’re looking for.”
“Netflix, I implore you to please reconsider having Dahmer with the LGBTQ tag, especially as one of its tags right when you open the app,” another subscriber wrote on Twitter.
All television series and films on Netflix are sorted into categories to help drive the streaming platform’s search algorithm. “Dahmer,” for instance, was initially categorized as “LGBTQ” in addition to “ominous,” “psychological,” “horror,” “vintage crime” and “dark.”
Since launching Sept. 21, “Dahmer” has been a ratings hit for Netflix with 196.2 million hours viewers in its first week. Reviews have been less kind. Variety television critic Caroline Framke panned the series for being “predictable,” adding, “It’s a grim, sepia-toned slog that rarely justifies its own existence.”
The tag removal is far from the only controversy that “Dahmer” has courted since its debut. Real-life family members of Dahmer’s victims have condemned the series, with Rita Isbell, the sister of Errol Lindsey, telling Insider, “It’s sad that they’re just making money off of this tragedy. That’s just greed.”
Netflix did not respond to Variety’s multiple requests for an official statement on the matter. “Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” is now available to stream.