You star Penn Badgley blames Netflix for people being attracted to serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer

Penn Badgley, who plays murderer and self-professed “nice guy” Joe Goldberg in Netflix’s You, has condemned people who idolise serial killers such as Jeffrey Dahmer.

He also drew a major distinction between You and series such as Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.

You is a Netflix original series that follows the murders committed Goldberg under various pseudonyms, but from his point of view. Series four has recently dropped on the streaming service, following the killer to London.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Badgley was asked what his message was for viewers who found themselves attracted to serial killers.

“You need to look at that inside,” he replied. “Now, to be fair, with our show, you’re meant to fall in love with him, that’s on us.

“Ted Bundy? That’s on you. Jeffrey Dahmer? That is on Netflix. That is squarely on the shoulders of Netflix.”

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“I don’t have answers, at this point. I do, but they’re long. It’s weird, man.”


Penn Badgley has a message for those of you who are a little TOO obsessed with Joe Goldberg and serial kworders 💀 #younetflix #pennbadgley #joegoldberg

♬ original sound – Entertainment Tonight

The adoration for serial killers such as Dahmer is said to have been legitimised by controversial series such as the 2022 Netflix offering, created by Ryan Murphy and starring Evan Peters as the “Milwaukee Cannibal”, who murdered 17 boys and young men between 1978 and 1991.

Penn Badgley’s comments refer to those who look at Jeffrey Dahmer with adoration rather than with disgust.

The family of one of Dahmer’s victims slammed Netflix for “re-traumatising” them over the crimes committed by the “monster”.

Family members of a different victim were “heartbroken” to think that people would be dressing up as Dahmer, also been portrayed by Ross Lynch in 2017, for Halloween. Shirley Hughes, mother of 12th victim, the aspiring model Tony Hughes, described her fears surrounding the holiday.

“It’s already super triggering to see a hit Netflix series about the serial killer, much less folks dressing like the killer,” she told TMZ.

A promotional still of actor Evan Peters as Jeffrey Dahmer in the Netflix series Monster: The Jeffray Dahmer Story.
Evan Peters as Jeffrey Dahmer in the Netflix series Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. (Netflix)

LGBTQ+ bars in Milwaukee banned costumes based around the killer.

“We understand there’s a generation out there that did not live this situation. They may not understand the severity of how it affected the community,” D.I.X. Milwaukee manager Eric Hamilton said, according to ABC7.

Copycat killers are already believed to have tried to model their crimes on Dahmer, who primarily targeted gay Black men and was beaten to death in prison in 1994.

Netflix was separately criticised after viewers noticed the series was given an “LGBTQ’”tag by the streaming service.