It turns out that even the members of the creative team behind the show were impacted.
Netflix's Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story has been mired in controversy ever since its premiere on September 21. Many people have blasted the show for "romanticizing" the notorious Milwaukee serial killer who murdered 17 men and boys, many of them people of color.
Among the critics were also family members of real-life Dahmer victims, who said that Netflix was trying to capitalize on their trauma. Now, it turns out that crew members also have bad experiences to share.
A production assistant who worked on the show, Kim Alsup, was one of the two Black crew members in the creative team. Last month, she tweeted she was "treated horribly" during her tenure, and was even mistaken for another colleague.
"I worked on this project and I was 1 of 2 Black people on the crew and they kept calling me her name," she wrote shortly before making her Twitter account private. "We both had braids. She was dark skin and 5'10. I'm 5'5. Working on this took everything I had as I was treated horribly. I look at the Black female lead differently now too."
In a new interview with Los Angeles Time, Alsup opened up on the bad memories the show left her, revealing that "the trailer itself gave [her] PTSD", saying that was the reason for writing that tweet she initially believed no one was going to read.
She insisted that Dahmer was "the worst show" she has ever had to work on as a Black person. According to her, the set never had a mental health coordinator, and she had to deal with being called by someone else's name constantly.
Overall, the experience was "exhausting" for her even though she Alsup admitted the conditions got better later while filming of episode 6 began. The episode was written and directed by Janet Mock and Paris Barclay, both people of color.
The new Netflix take on Dahmer has been in the spotlight of the social media attention recently, and not exclusively for good reasons.
For instance, Rita Isbell, a sister of one of Dahmer's victims, has penned an essay in which she pointed out that the show's team never reached out to her to gain her consent for recreating her emotional testimony, noting that the series was created to make profits. Social media fans, in turn, have grilled Dahmer over casting an attractive actor — Evan Peters — for the main role, thus making the image of the serial killer potentially more likable.
Netflix has not addressed the grievances voiced by Alsup or Isbell.