Donald Trump is currently embroiled in (yet another) round of controversy thanks to a video recording leaked last week that shows him in 2005 speaking in the most vulgar terms imaginable about a woman — who turned out to be Access Hollywood’s Nancy O’Dell — with her TV co-host Billy Bush. At the presidential debate on Sunday, the GOP candidate repeatedly dismissed the comments as mere “locker room talk.” Some of his defenders, however, went further, including right-wing syndicated radio host Joe Walsh, who on Saturday sent out the tweet below equating the Republican nominee’s misogynistic boasts with the language in E.L. James’ best-selling erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey:
If women are so outraged by Trump’s dirty talk, then who the hell bought the 80 million copies of “Fifty Shades Of Grey?”
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) October 8, 2016
That comparison quickly became a talking point for Republican cable-news pundit Scottie Nell Hughes, who repeated the (completely nonsensical) argument on CNN on Monday that fictions like Fifty Shades promoted the same sort of non-consensual sexual activity that Trump — a man running to become the most powerful individual in the world — bragged about on tape.
It’s no surprise then that one of the people most offended by this line of (anti-)reasoning was James herself, who struck back on Sunday with the following tweet:
— E L James (@E_L_James) October 9, 2016
As The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday, many Twitter users quickly came to James’ defense while slamming Walsh’s argument, none better than the person below who mocked the right-wing commentator by highlighting the absurdity of claiming that a person’s fictional tastes and real-world behavior must perfectly align.
@WalshFreedom Yeah! And if people don’t want to be horribly murdered, who the hell bought all those Stephen King books?
— Savage Werewombat (@UrsulaV) October 9, 2016
Whether Trump defenders can use James’ best-selling novels (and hit movie adaptation) as a means of mitigating the outrage — a strategy that also includes somehow roping Beyoncé into this brouhaha — remains to be seen. Regardless of the former Apprentice host’s political fate however, the next James-based movie adaptation — the sequel Fifty Shades Darker, starring Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, and Kim Basinger — arrives in theaters on February 10, 2017.