As it happened with Zac Efron’s Ted Bundy, a portion of TikTok has begun romanticizing Evan Peters’ Jeffrey Dahmer, despite the horrific (and racist) nature of his real crimes.
The family of one of Dahmer’s victims has already voiced the pain the new Netflix series Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story has caused. But over on TikTok exists a completely different reality, where people feel sympathy for the serial killer, most likely because he’s played by Ryan Murphy regular Evan Peters.
His portrayal of Dahmer is not sexy at all, but that has not stopped people (mostly young women) from publicly thirsting after or feeling sorry for the man who drugged and dismembered multiple men and boys. The Dahmer TikTok tag has more than 1 billion views.
@blackkout___ Im lost for words #dahmer ♬ original sound – D Piddy
@auntiesjx I can’t be the only one? #fyp #jeffreydahmer #dahmer #phycology #empathy #stockholmsyndrome #serialkillee ♬ original sound – AuntieSJ
Elsewhere, people are editing clips from the series to make them seem like they’re out of a rom-com, and the comments on one particular TikTok about victim Tony Hughes reads like twisted fan fiction.
And then there are the memes that have come out of the series; one popular trend turns a scene in which Dahmer forces a victim to watch a movie with him into a joke about “forcing my girl to watch my gaming clips.” Another POV trend imagines being in Dahmer’s apartment.
Ross Lynch, the former Disney star who played the killer in 2017’s My Friend Dahmer, has also been thirsted after on TikTok for his portrayal, and Netflix’s 2019 dramatization Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile was called out for turning Efron’s Bundy into a sympathetic character.
But so many of these TikToks are detached from reality. Rita Isbell, sister of victim Errol Lindsey, whose emotional courtroom scene was recreated in Monster, has a different POV. In a recent piece for Insider, she called out Netflix for exploiting her family and other victims and said when she saw Dahmer in court, she “recognized evil. I was face-to-face with pure evil.”