Mother of one of Jeffrey Dahmer’s victims slams Evan Peters’ Golden Globes win for his chilling Netflix portrayal of the serial killer – and says that he should have called for Hollywood to stop glorifying killers
- Shirley Hughes – the mother of Dahmer victim Tony Hughes – has spoken out before about her disapproval of the popular Netflix series
- She said that Peters should’ve used his speech Tuesday night to pay tribute to Dahmer’s victims and their families
- Several victims’ families have complained in the wake of the airing of the series, though creator Ryan Murphy said no one responded when he reached out
The mother of Dahmer victim Tony Hughes – Shirley Hughes – said Peters should have paid tribute to the killer’s many victims during his acceptance speech at the glitzy awards show.
She told TMZ that she would have liked to see Peters users his time on stage to gesture to the families who are still suffering from Dahmer’s crimes, or to tell Hollywood that it is time to put an end to telling the stories of killers.
Tony Hughes, a deaf 31-year-old victim of Jeffrey Dahmer, about whom the popular Netflix series focused an episode
Peters won a Golden Globe Tuesday night for Best Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series for his portrayal of Jeffrey Dahmer in the Netflix miniseries Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.
During his acceptance speech, he said he hoped something good would come from his win and the show itself.
Hughes was skeptical of that hope, saying nothing good will come from Peters’ award for the show. Rather, it just compounds the tragedy for the families of the victims, forcing them to relive their grief.
The victim’s mother added to her sentiment, saying: ‘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.’
Despite Peters’ proclamation during his speech that it was difficult for him to portray the killer, Shirley questioned why he took the role in the first place.
Her position is that he – or any actor – should have declined to the role out of respect for the families that continue to live with the heartbreak of their losses at the hands of the killer.
‘It’s a shame that people can take our tragedy and make money,’ she said. ‘The victims never saw a cent. We go through these emotions every day.’
This is not the first time the creatives behind the miniseries have received backlash from the families of Dahmer’s victims.
Creator Ryan Murphy claimed in October that he had reached out to 20 of the victims’ family members and friends before making the show, but ‘not a single person responded.’
At the time of its release, Rita Isbell, the sister of Errol Lindsey – a 19-year-old victim of Dahmer -said she had not been contacted by anyone and called Netflix ‘greedy’ for failing to contribute some of its earnings off the show to her deceased brother’s offspring.
‘Over the course of the three-and-a-half years when we were writing it, working on it, we reached out to around 20 of the victims’ families and friends trying to get input, trying to talk to people, and not a single person responded to us in that process,’ said Murphy.
‘So we relied very, very heavily on our incredible group of researchers who… I don’t even know how they found a lot of this stuff.
‘But it was just like a night and day effort to us trying to uncover the truth of these people,’ he said.
Shirley Hughes – mother of Dahmer victim Tony Hughes – delivers a victim impact statement in court in 1992
Peters as Dahmer (right) and Rodney Burford as Hughes (left) during episode six of the popular Netflix show. The episode culminates with Dahmer eating Hughes’ liver after donating to his family’s search for him
Shirley Hughes said she was dismayed that Peters did not use his time onstage accepting his award as an opportunity to pay tribute to Dahmer’s victims and their families
When the show first arrived in September on the popular streaming service, Shirley Hughes – now 85-years-old – was quick to criticize the effort.
‘I don’t see how they can do that. I don’t see how they can use our names and put stuff out there like that,’ she told the Guardian at the time.
The show focused one of its 10 episodes on Tony Hughes, a deaf 31-year-old who Dahmer murdered in 1991.
The episode centered on Hughes is regarded as one of the series’ hardest to watch as it documents Dahmer’s brief relationship with the aspiring model who enjoys dancing at local clubs with his friends, who like him, are deaf and gay.
The culmination of the episode – number six in the series – arrives with Dahmer killing Hughes and cooking and eating his liver after donating funds to a search effort mounted by his mother and family.
Shirley Hughes would go on to find out about her son’s murder after investigators discovered his skull in Dahmer’s apartment.