Just as someone else’s culture shouldn’t be your costume, someone else’s trauma shouldn’t be, either. eBay has moved to ban the sale of Jeffrey Dahmer costumes ahead of Halloween, Buzzfeed News reports. Dahmer’s story has surged back into the public eye—often to exploitative effect—with Ryan Murphy’s record-breaking new Netflix series Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.
“These items are prohibited for sale on our site and we are removing them,” a spokesperson from eBay tells Buzzfeed of the ban on Dahmer-inspired attire. The spokesperson also confirms that eBay continues to actively remove listings from the platform—anything that violates its policy on glorifying violence and violent criminals. As of this writing, a search for “jeffrey dahmer costume” yields 0 search results on eBay, as does an inquiry for “jeffrey dahmer mask.”
eBay’s policy states that sellers are prohibited from listing items that “promote or glorify violence,” or that are associated with violent people, notorious crimes, or crime scenes from the past century. That criteria certainly includes Dahmer, who killed 17 predominantly Black men and boys between 1978 and 1991.
Although Dahmer quickly skyrocketed to the top of Netflix’s ranks as one of the streamer’s biggest original debuts ever, the series has also faced its fair share of criticism. Rita Isbell, the sister of one of Dahmer’s victims, Errol Lindsey, has publicly written about her distaste for the show. A painstaking recreation of Isbell’s emotional 1992 victim impact statement at Dahmer’s sentencing hearing appears in Dahmer. Isbell says Netflix never contacted her, or her family, about the show.
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“The victims have children and grandchildren. If the show benefited them in some way, it wouldn’t feel so harsh and careless,” Isbell writes. “It’s sad that they’re just making money off of this tragedy. That’s just greed.”