‘You’ Actor Expresses Concern Over Netflix’s Glorification Of Serial Killers
You actor, Penn Badgley, has criticized the streaming service for continuing to promote true-crime shows such as Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. Despite the commercial success of such shows, they have received widespread backlash for glorifying real-life killers at the expense of their victims. Similarly, You has faced criticism for normalizing male violence towards women in the name of love and passion. Badgley, who plays the show’s stalker-turned-killer lead Joe Goldberg, has discouraged viewers from rooting for his character, emphasizing that the show condemns Joe’s actions.
Badgley has blamed Netflix for capitalizing on and fueling public fascination with real-life criminals. He suggested that viewers’ attraction to Joe may be influenced by true-crime shows, which have made audiences sympathize with murderers. He argued that while You is designed to make viewers fall in love with Joe, it is up to viewers to examine their own reasons for sympathizing with such a horrific character. Meanwhile, shows like Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story and Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes have been criticized for exploiting victims’ trauma and invading their families’ privacy.
Despite the backlash, true-crime shows continue to be popular with audiences. Dahmer Story was a commercial success and reached the top spot on Netflix within a week of its release. Evan Peters, who played the real-life killer, won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film for his performance. The recent wave of true-crime television, from Making a Murderer to The Girl From Plainville, shows that public fascination with historic serial killers is stronger than ever.
Badgley suggested that the more ethical choice for Netflix and other streaming services would be to promote fictitious shows like You, which satisfy viewers’ fascination with criminals without exploiting real people. However, even You, which condemns Joe’s actions, is told from the perspective of the criminal, making it difficult for viewers not to sympathize with him on some level. Ultimately, whether You contributes to the same problem as true-crime shows glorifying stalkers and killers is up to individual viewers.
In conclusion, the controversy surrounding true crime shows and their impact on viewers highlights the ethical concerns surrounding the representation of real-life murderers. While these shows have been criticized for exploiting victims and their families, they continue to be popular. Fictitious shows like You offer an alternative that satisfies viewers’ fascination with criminals without exploiting real people. However, even fictitious shows can be problematic if they normalize or romanticize criminal behavior. It is up to viewers to examine their own reasons for sympathizing with fictional and real-life criminals and to critically evaluate the media they consume.
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