In a New York Times profile, he discusses his blockbuster hits Dahmer — Monster’ and ‘The Watcher.’ He wonders, “What are the rules? Should we never do a movie about a tyrant?” and fights back against the streamer deleting its LGBTQ designation on the former.
In a new piece with The New York Times, Ryan Murphy commented about his two Netflix blockbusters and answered some of the criticism about the most famous Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.
The Jeffery Dahmer limited series about the serial killer premiered on September 21 and has been the biggest success of Murphy’s stellar career, scoring significant streaming figures week after week, including the top spot on Netflix, and it was on track to surpass 1 billion hours streamed over the Halloween holiday, according to Murphy.
Murphy and Ian Brennan’s upcoming limited series The Watcher, a true-crime-inspired thriller with Naomi Watts and Bobby Cannavale that premiered on October 13, then threatened to surpass it.
However, the series Dahmer – Monster has also come under fire from the victims’ families for its strong attention to Dahmer’s horrible deeds claiming that Netflix and production never reached out to them. Murphy countered that his team contacted the families and friends of over 20 victims, but “not a single individual reacted to us in that process,” Murphy had previously said.
Murphey shared while speaking to Maureen Dowd for the profile that appeared over the weekend, that he decided to cover Dahmer’s story in order to highlight the racism and homophobia that characterized the case because “it was the biggest thing I’ve ever seen that really sort of examines how easy it is to get away with things with the white privilege aspects.”
Asking, “What about the rules now? Should we never make a film about a tyrant?”
He also objected to the streamer’s judgment, made in response to complaints from certain viewers, to remove the LGBTQ tag from the program.
He added, “I don’t think all gay stories have to be happy stories.” “There was a phase on Netflix when they took the LGBTQ tag off Dahmer, and I didn’t like it. I asked them why, and they responded that it was a sad narrative and people were unhappy about it. I thought, “Well, yeah.” However, the story was about a gay man and, more significantly, about his gay victims.
He referred to the sixth episode, ‘Silenced’ (written by Janet Mock and David McMillan and directed by Paris Barclay), which highlighted Tony Hughes, a Black deaf victim and Dahmer victim, as the one he was most proud of, saying, “There’s a five-minute sequence of three gay deaf men at a pizza shop interacting in sign language about gay life, dating and how hard it is for them. I couldn’t believe I was given the opportunity to broadcast it on television. (Tony Hughes’ mother Shirley Hughes said that her son’s life was dramatized in the series)
Murphy doesn’t discuss his plans in the piece when his partnership with the streaming giant expires in five months. There is no clarity on whether he will stay at Netflix, where Dahmer is currently the second-biggest hit in the streaming platform’s history, or will he go back to FX and its parent company Disney?
Ted Sarandos, Co-CEO of Netflix, cites that Dahmer is a worldwide hit. He initially recruited Murphy for the massive $300 million producing agreement because “very few people are capable of executing what he ultimately did at Netflix.”
“Versace was well known to everyone, and so was O.J.” Sarandos noted about Murphy’s American Crime Story successes for FX. Everyone is aware of Jeffrey Dahmer; nonetheless, he transforms these well-known tales into something entirely new.
Even though The Politician, Hollywood, and The Prom had what the article refers to as a “patchy initial run” on Netflix, Sarandos added, “I don’t think it’s possible for anyone and not just for Ryan to achieve the levels that they do without having a couple of misses under their belt while they figure out ‘How do I adapt my storytelling to this platform? How do I make a connection with this audience?”