Real Broaddus family was paid by Netflix for The Watcher and made demands about the show

They’ve said they won’t be watching the thriller series about what happened to them

Netflix has just released thriller series The Watcher, all about a family who moved into what they thought would be their dream home – but it was anything but. The series is based on the real life Broaddus family, who moved into a seemingly idilic mansion at 657 Boulevard, Westfield.

As soon as they arrived, they started getting creepy letters from an anonymous sender who called themselves “The Watcher”. They were threatening at times, and told the family they were “obsessed” with “monitoring” them, their children, and the house. The real life family has said they are still affected by what happened to them.

The family ended up getting rid of the house for much less than they paid for it. So, has the Netflix series at least made up financially for their losses? Here’s what the real Broaddus family has said about The Watcher on Netflix, including some very specific demands they made about their portrayal.

The family from The Watcher on Netflix

via Netflix

The Broaddus family made some very specific requests to Netflix, and will not be watching The Watcher series

According to The Cut, which published the original 2018 story “The Haunting of a Dream House” about this case, The Broaddus family appears to be taking a step away from what happened to them. They’ve said they will not be watching the show, and found watching the trailers “stressful enough”.

Derek and Maria Broaddus have said they wanted “little involvement” in the show, but requested two things to production. They asked the show not use their name, and instead Netflix has called the couple Nora and Dean Brannock. The couple also requested the on-screen actors who play them look as little like they do in real life as possible.

As well as this, in the show, the family has two children, whereas the real Broaddus family is Derek, Maria, and their three children. They also said they wouldn’t mind if Netflix wanted to show their house burning down, which is fair enough.

The real house, via Google Maps

How does the Broaddus family feel about The Watcher case now?

The Broaddus family has said The Watcher “still has a way of infecting their lives”, according to The Cut. They still live in the area, and are constantly reminded of what happened to them. The family tries to avoid talking about The Watcher, and have turned down multiple offers from TV producers to come on-screen and talk about what happened to them.

Did they get paid by Netflix for the show?

The reporter who wrote the story for The Cut said they revisited the area, and rumour among the neighbours had been the Broaddus family was paid $10million by Netflix. The Cut has clarified this isn’t true, and that the amount the family was paid didn’t even cover their loses from reselling the house.

The Broaddus family paid $1.4million for their home, and five years later placed it on the market for $999k. This means they had a $400k loss, so have been paid less than this by Netflix. The exact amount has not be specified.

The Watcher is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

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