In light of both the new Netlix Original mini-series "Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes" and the freshly released trailer for "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile" movie starring heartthrob Zac Efron, it is easy to see that Hollywood is romanticizing a man responsible for too much blood on his hands.
Don't get me wrong: I live for serial killer documentaries and stories. There's something about how the minds of these perpetrators tick is fascinating, so I am obviously on board with these upcoming movies documenting the lives of Ted Bundy. I am also a mega fan of Zac Efron and I support him in almost every film he stars in. However, there needs to be a boundary not to cross, and I feel like this upcoming movie starring Efron is a boundary that was slid across.
Ted Bundy was responsible for not just cold blood murder, but rape and necrophilia to handfuls of innocent women. Bundy confessed to 36 killings, however there is rumored to be more than 100 victims. He raped and killed women of all ages — the youngest being a 12-year-old whom he had found in Florida during his escape from prison. This man was smooth, personable and manipulative: all of which consists of a sociopathic man. So, why do we continue to romanticize him?
Yes, Ted Bundy was an attractive and smart man who was good at coercing people, especially women. But does his good looks and flirtatious personality really excuse him from his inhuman killings?
All I have seen on social media is the constant comments about his good looks, how people "wouldn't mind being murdered by him", and that 'serial killer stans' actually trended on Twitter. Shows and movies, such as "You" sexualize stalkers, murder and assault, while us as the media consumer binge-watch and glamorize these triggering instances. Even Efron's trailer for his new film is considered a rom-com!
Let me ask this: How do you think Bundy's victims families are responding to a film that showcases and idealizes their murders?
Rather than focusing on Ted Bundy's facial structures, we should be providing empathy to those whose families were affected, and being proactive in learning the way these killers think, so that we can learn signs of a potential perpetrator.
So please, stop romanticizing killers. It's okay to have interest in the telling of these cruel people, but let's make it a thing to not sexualize them to the media, but rather give support and sympathy to those affected by these killings, or ones similar to them.
You'll see me at the theater, popcorn in hand, to see this film. However, you will see me being thoughtful, rather than fan-girling over Zac Efron and being turned on by these murders.