Pop Culture

Kesha’s Mom Explains Controversial Jeffrey Dahmer Lyric in Song “Cannibal” Following Backlash to New Netflix Series

Kesha‘s mom Pebe Sebert is taking all the blame for the pop star’s controversial lyric about Jeffrey Dahmer in her song “Cannibal.”

In a TikTok video posted Sunday, Sebert explained how that line in the 2010 song came to be after the new Netflix series about the serial killer, Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, received a lot of backlash from the victims’ families for its portrayal of Dahmer. She also captioned the video, “Some context on the lyric that’s bothering people 12 years later. All opinions are valid. Not meant to shut anyone down, just more info.”

In the clip, Sebert began, “The whole Jeffrey Dahmer lyric in ‘Cannibal’ is a big controversy right now. I thought I’d just say a few things about it because that was my line that I wrote in ‘Cannibal.’” She went on to explain, “At the time, Kesha and the other writer were too young to even know who Jeffrey Dahmer was. Literally, the way it happened is I have this rhyming program called Master Writer for Songwriters. We were looking for a rhyme for ‘goner,’ at the very end of the widest rhymes was Jeffrey Dahmer. I was like, ‘Oh, my God, that’s a perfect lyric.’” She continued, “Not to be insensitive to anybody whose families were involved in this and lost loved ones. At the time, it was a song that we were writing about Kesha…It was a tongue-in-cheek funny song. It was not actually about cannibalism. It was just a title.” The lyric in question comes during the verse where Kesha sings, “Use your finger to stir my tea / And for dessert I’ll suck your teeth / Be too sweet and you’ll be a goner / Yeah, I’ll pull a Jeffrey Dahmer.”

Sebert added, “I’m sorry for anyone who’s lost a family member in this tragedy. We certainly never meant to hurt anybody or make anybody feel bad. There’s a [series] out right now that’s kind of bringing attention back. The song’s been out for more than 10 years, probably almost 12 years. This is not something that we’ve recently written.” She concluded, “Jeffrey Dahmer was just part of the culture back then. Everybody talked about him for many years. What he’d done was so extreme, and so worse than anything anyone had ever done that anybody knew about.”

This clarification comes after Netflix released a new series based on Dahmer’s gruesome murders starring Evan Peters and created by Ryan Murphy. Dahmer scandalized the world with the extreme brutality of his crimes, which included cannibalism and necrophilia, in addition to raping, murdering and dismembering at least 17 men and boys in Milwaukee, Wisconsin between 1978 and 1991. Since its release, the show has renewed public interest in the serial killer and the families of his victims have accused Netflix of exploiting their tragedy and “re-traumatizing” them by forcing them to relive those horrible events.

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