'Fifty Shades of Grey': Religious Organization Asks Theaters to Reject Movie


Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson in Fifty Shades

By Ashley Lee

The American Family Association isn’t pleased with the upcoming release of Fifty Shades of Grey this weekend, and is calling for theaters’ rejection of the title.

The organization, which aims to promote media integrity and protect families by promoting fundamentalist Christian values, says it’s “creating controversy for its graphic sexual nature, promotion of BDSM, and scenes that degrade women,” as it “borders on pornography and glamorizes abuse.”

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"Nothing in Fifty Shades of Grey builds up society, respects or empowers women or demonstrates healthy relationships,” said AFA president Tim Wildmon. “Rather, the film glorifies abusive relationships and glamorizes abusive tendencies such as stalking, bondage sex, intimidation and isolation. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control’s standards of emotional abuse and sexual violence include nearly every one of the interactions between the two main characters. Both movie theaters and moviegoers can stand up to this kind of disgusting content that’s touted as ‘entertainment’ and choose not to show or pay to see the film.”

Watch a scene from the movie:

The AFA is the latest organization to protest the big-screen adaptation of the E.L. James book — an 100-minute film of which one-fifth is composed of sex scenes. The organization aligns with the recently-popular social media movement #50DollarsNot50Shades, which is urging moviegoers to boycott the film and use the money they would spend on tickets, popcorn and drinks ($50) to support a domestic violence shelter or agency.

"The irony is not lost that the film’s main character is named, ‘Christian,’ while this film presents anything but a ‘Christian’ view of intimacy," Wildmon continued. "The idea that anyone would think this film is in any way appropriate demonstrates an incredibly unhealthy view of relationships and sexuality. A more apt title for the movie would be Fifty Shades of Evil. Without question, this film will have a corrosive effect on cultural views of what normative sexuality ought to be.

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"Healthy relationships seek to safeguard the emotional and physical well-being of another; this film promotes inflicting emotional, physical and psychological harm on another for the sole purpose of self-serving sexual gratification. It is the epitome of elevating abuse, and we call on all theaters to reject promoting such abuse on their screens."

Image credit: AP Photo/Universal Pictures and Focus Features