Ryan Murphy is okay with “Dahmer” being labelled an LGBTQ show.
In an interview with Variety, the creator of “Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story”, along with star Evan Peters, sat down to talk about the reaction to the true crime series.
When the show first landed on Netflix, a small controversy erupted when people noticed that Netflix had included it under the LGBTQ tag. They later removed the tag.
“I think that it got the tag, one, because of my involvement. I’m a gay man, so most of my stories deal with some sort of LGBTQ thing and I do that selfishly; when I was growing up, I had nothing [to look to],” Murphy said. “My mission statement has been to talk about those stories and those characters and unearth buried history.
And while the producer understands the reasons for the controversy, including the fact that many of Dahmer’s victims were gay, he doesn’t see things the same way.
“Many people in the community want to uplift. I understand that,” he said. “It’s about homophobia.”
Murphy continued, “I have a saying: ‘My job as an artist is to hold up a mirror about what happened.’ It’s ugly. It’s not pretty. Do you want to look at it? If you do, watch it. If you don’t, look away, and sometimes, some of this outrage is directed at the frame of the mirror instead of the reflection. I try and say, I really understand why you’re upset about the inclusion of that. I understand it, but I also disagree with it personally.”
The seriousness of the subject matter was also apparently felt acutely on the set while filming the series.
“You could hear a pin drop on that set. We all felt, ‘We are here to work on very difficult material. We’re here to answer very difficult questions about homophobia, systemic racism, white privilege.’ When Evan would step onto the set or when Niecy Nash would step onto the set, it was very like church in a weird way,” Murphy recalled.
The creator is still in the planning stages on upcoming seasons of the “Monster” anthology, though he may have to do so without Peters.
“I’m going to take a little break from darker roles and explore the light,” the actor said. “It would be interesting to me to play something that is a little closer to home, a little more mundane and to explore the details of those kinds of experiences.”