Lots has changed recently in the reality of how we tell (and, more importantly in some ways, listen to) stories about real crimes that happen to real people has to change to meet the times. How must the true crime genre change to adapt? Sarah Weinman writes:
What will true crime look like in a post revolution world? True crime, as a genre, has never been more under the cultural microscope, its perennial ability to transform murder into mass entertainment now the cause for greater scrutiny. Thank the weeks of protests sparked by the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, and Ahmaud Arbery (among so, so many) and the ensuing calls to defund the police: The greater abolition movement, ignored for years, has taken on greater urgency — and yielded tangible results.
The scales have fallen from the eyes of true crime consumers. Murder and violence as entertainment was always difficult to stomach, but there was the hope — and I certainly felt this — that the ethical thorniness could be counteracted, by centering victims and de-emphasizing traditional law-and-order narratives. It seems clear that true crime hasn’t gone nearly far enough. It also seems clear that the genre as a whole needs to be upended from the ground up. If the true crime boom of the past six years has begun to wane, where does it go next, and what is the genre’s future?