Fifty Shades ‘glamorises violence’


Published: Monday 9th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Fifty Shades Of Grey “glamorises” domestic violence and dangerously romanticises the idea that women can fix broken men, campaigners have said.

Ahead of the release of the controversial film over Valentine’s Day weekend, domestic violence activists have called on the public to consider whether they should endorse the movie.

Natalie Collins, who runs campaign group Fifty Shades Is Domestic Abuse, said the story portrays an abusive relationship.

She said: “The thing that I would say to people who are reading the books, who are going to see it, is, if he wasn’t rich and very attractive, would this behaviour be normal?

“Is it romantic when somebody tracks your phone, when somebody knows where you live before you tell them, sells your only means of transport, or buys the company you work for?

“How can you marry that with being romantic?”

Having worked on reducing violence against women for a number of years, Ms Collins said that after reading all three books two-and-a-half years ago, she was left “deeply concerned about the amount of domestic violence that was being romanticised and celebrated”.

She also criticised “exploitative” retailers who had taken advantage of the franchise’s popularity and created branded merchandising to cash in on the publicity.

The imminent release of the Fifty Shades Of Grey film, starring Jamie Dornan as Seattle billionaire Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson as student Anastasia Steele, has seen the sale of sex toys in Britain soar.

Britain’s biggest online sex toy retailer, Lovehoney, said the overall Valentine’s spend across the industry will be around £50 million – £1 for every adult in the UK.

The books, written by EL James, follow the sado-masochistic sexual relationship between the two protagonists.

Ms Collins added: “We are not against BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism), it is the other issues in the books and films which we say glamorise domestic violence.

“It is not about censorship – people have the absolute right to go and watch it – but there is something about the credibility that is given by the number of people who go and watch it.

“I have spoken to people who have said that he (Christian Grey) was abused as a child and that is why he is the way he is.

“It is also very dangerous to suggest that people abuse because of their childhood and that women can fix broken men with enough love.”

She further expressed her concerns that the franchise has become part of everyday life, with some cinemas even hosting “mummy and baby screenings”.

Fifty Shades Is Domestic Abuse campaigners are planning to hold a protest at the film’s UK premiere in London’s Leicester Square on Thursday.

Published: Monday 9th February 2015 by The News Editor

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