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Ryan Murphy's Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story might be the most-watched show on Netflix, but Whoopi Goldberg won't be queueing it up any time soon.
On Wednesday morning, The View's longtime moderator slammed Monster for "traumatizing" the families of Jeffrey Dahmer's victims, some of whom have spoken out against the series since its release last week. Whoopi was joined in her criticism by Sara Haines, Joy Behar, and Alyssa Farah Griffin, with Sunny Hostin serving as the lone voice of dissent as she argued that the show educates viewers about the internalized racism and homophobia at play in the investigation.
After explaining the recent controversy surrounding Monster, which emerged after families of Dahmer's victims said they were not contacted about the series or paid for reenactments of real moments, Whoopi posed a question to the panel: "Did we need another movie about Jeffrey Dahmer?"
"No," replied Behar, almost immediately. "Alright, moving on," said Whoopi, as the audience laughed.
But Hostin wasn't quite to eager to shift focus. "I disagree. In our Hot Topics meeting, I was the sole dissenter. It was like 12 Angry Men," she said. Hostin noted that her 20-year-old son and other young people she spoke to "knew nothing" about the Dahmer case, "especially about the way young Black and brown gay men were targeted and victimized and groomed by this other guy, and that the police officers sort of pushed it off like, 'Well, you know, that's the gay community.'"
"17 of them died," she continued. "He was cannibalizing these men. And these communities are still marginalized, and sometimes treated the same way."
"And traumatized by this," interrupted Whoopi. "And so if you don't tell them — you don't ask them — they should have."
IS NEW JEFFREY DAHMER SERIES EXPLOITIVE OR INFORMATIVE? #TheView co-hosts weigh in on the backlash the show is receiving after families of the young men Dahmer murdered said they were never contacted by anyone from the popular new miniseries. https://t.co/cVclFZQmjA pic.twitter.com/NydErkfdII— The View (@TheView) September 28, 2022
After Behar quipped that the Netflix series "is for ratings" and nothing else, Haines insisted the series' emphasis on marginalized communities is "important," but operates on a much smaller scale than "the display of the horrid nature of the crime." Said Haines, "It doesn't justify re-traumatizing [them]."
"At a point it just feels sort of gratuitous," added Griffin. "It's well done, I'm just not sure it's a story worthy of retelling."
Still, Whoopi managed to get the last word with a scathing takedown of the series. "All of that is important, and Ryan [Murphy] is an amazing artist," she said, addressing Hostin's earlier points. "My bitch is that if that were my family, I'd be enraged because it is being killed over and over — and watching your child get — and then you have to listen to how it went and all that other stuff."
"As a person who's lost someone like that, it just — you can't imagine. Over and over and over," Whoopi continued. "If you're going to tell these stories, be aware that a lot of the people who are part of these stories are still with us!"
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Claire Spellberg Lustig is the Senior Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.