Gabby Petito Murder: Fans Criticize Lifetime Movie, Saying It’s ‘Too Soon’

Gabby Petito Murder: Fans Criticize Lifetime Movie, Saying It’s ‘Too Soon’ Instagram/@gabspetito

Fans are not happy with Lifetime, the cable network known for its dramatic movies based on real-life crimes. However, The Gabby Petito Story, based on the 22-year-old vlogger who was killed in 2021, isn’t going over too well with fans who believe it’s way “too soon” to be fictionalizing this story.

  1. Petito was murdered by her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie. The couple was on a cross-country road trip together when Petito went missing in August 2021. Her body was later found and authorities determined she’d been strangled to death. Laundrie was the number one suspect, and he soon went on the run before ultimately taking his own life to avoid facing justice.
  2. Lifetime greenlit the Gabby Petito movie in May 2022. Deadline reported at the time that the story would “explore Gabby and her fiancé Brian Laundrie’s complicated relationship and what may have gone wrong during their cross-country trip that resulted in Gabby’s tragic murder.”
  3. Thora Birch is directing the movie. She’s also due to play Petito’s mother, Nichole Schmidt. However, Petito’s real-life family doesn’t approve of the movie, with the Sun reporting that they say Lifetime “took it upon themselves” to make it.
  4. Fans and critics alike are not happy with Lifetime making a Gabby Petito movie. After all, she hasn’t even been dead a year. “Just saw a commercial for a lifetime channel movie about Gabby Petito’s murder. That poor girl’s body hasn’t even been in the ground for a year and there’s already a goddamn film. Vultures,” wrote critic Ella Dawson. Another fan added: “I can’t believe this even needs to be said but we do NOT need a Gabby Petito murder movie. We don’t.”
  5. Many people are disgusted by the decision. Not only do some people think it’s “too soon” for Lifetime to be making a Gabby Petito movie, they don’t believe it should be made at all. “I think doing a tv series or movie on what happened to Gabby Petito at this time is absolutely despicable. Even if it were to be absolutely accurate, which it is not, it’s still wrong. Let family, friends, and people grieve and heal. All is still in process and transition,” one person wrote. Another added: “I will NOT endorse @lifetimetv, still making a movie about Gabby Petito even though the family and friends disapprove of [it]. Shame on Lifetime TV.”
  6. The movie is expected to premiere later this year. Lifetime will air it as part of its “Stop Violence Against Women” campaign.

Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill