Netflix's love affair with dark shows has often sparked controversy, but the streaming giant's recent gamble has evidently paid off, as witnessed by the resounding success of one of its most popular series at the BAFTA TV Awards.
Dahmer - Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, the first season of the American true crime anthology series Monster, emerged victorious at the BAFTA TV Awards, taking home the award for Best International Program. The gripping 10-part series triumphed over formidable contenders including Netflix's coming-of-age series Wednesday, HBO's The White Lotus, Hulu's The Bear, Apple TV+'s Pachinko, and Disney+'s French historical drama Oussekine.
Netflix only secured one award at this year's BAFTA TV Awards as it joined Apple TV+'s win for Best Drama Series with Bad Sisters as the only victories for streaming platforms. However, for the controversial Netflix series, this was its sixth major award.
Created by Ryan Murphy, Dahmer features Evan Peters in the lead role as Jeffrey Dahmer, the infamous American serial killer, pedophile, necrophiliac, and cannibal. Dahmer's chilling spree involved the murder and dismemberment of 17 individuals over a 13-year period, ultimately leading to his arrest in 1991.
While the series achieved commercial success and is currently Netflix's third most-watched English-language series to date, it has faced criticism from the families of Jeffrey Dahmer's victims, who've accused Netflix of capitalizing on their traumatic experiences for profit.
Following Evan Peters' victory at the Golden Globe Awards in January for Best Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Television Film, Shirley Hughes, the mother of Dahmer's victim Tony Hughes, voiced her opposition to the show, stating:
Evan should have used his acceptance speech to mention the families who are still suffering from Dahmer's crimes, or to say Hollywood should put an end to telling stories about killers and glorifying them.
There's a lot of sick people around the world, and people winning acting roles from playing killers keeps the obsession going and this makes sick people thrive on the fame. It's a shame that people can take our tragedy and make money. The victims never saw a cent. We go through these emotions every day.
Regrettably, while Netflix has reaped profits from the sorrow endured by these families, audiences worldwide have also been complicit in the same. In light of the renewal of the anthology series for two more seasons and the announcement of a second season for The Watcher, Bela Bajaria, Netflix's head of global TV, shared the following statement:
Audiences can’t take their eyes off 'Monster' and 'The Watcher.' The creative team of Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan on 'Monster' along with Eric Newman on 'The Watcher' are masterful storytellers who captivated audiences all over the world. The back-to-back force of these two series is due to Ryan’s distinct original voice which created cultural sensations and we are thrilled to continue telling stories in the 'Monster' and 'Watcher' universes.
Netflix's upcoming second season of Monster, titled Monsters: The Lyle and Erik Menendez Story, will feature the infamous murder case of the Menendez brothers, who were convicted in 1996 of the murders of their parents.