Domestic violence activists urge boycott of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

Tim Chester
February 5, 2015

A grassroots campaign has been launched across social media to encourage people to boycott the new Fifty Shades of Grey film.

#50dollarsnot50shades is asking the public to skip watching the movie in February, and instead give the $50 (£33) they would have spent on tickets, food and drinks to a domestic violence shelter or agency.

The campaign has the backing of several sponsors, including various American and Canadian organizations, such as the London Abused Women’s Centre (in Canada), the National Center on Sexual Exploitation and Stop Porn Culture. It is also co-sponsored by, One Angry Girl Designs and Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan.

They argue that the plot, which centres on male lead Christian Grey’s controlling and dominant relationship with protagonist Anastasia Steele, glamorises violence towards women.

If people participate, the money “they would have spent on movie tickets, popcorn and drinks will go towards serving victims of abusive relationships like the one glamorized in the Fifty Shades series,” the campaign says on its official Facebook page.

Women in real life “don’t end up like Anastasia; they often end up in a women’s shelter, on the run for years or dead,” the National Center on Sexual Exploitation said, according to The Washington Times.

Two of the campaign organizers, Jill at Stop Porn Culture and Jen at London Abused Women’s Centre (who told The Times they didn’t want their full names used), said they’ve the initiative is getting a positive response. “People are really upset about this movie and its potential for glamorizing stalking and abusive behavior, so they’re happy to have the chance to do something positive to help offset the damage.”

Natalie Collins, the British woman behind the 50 Shades is Abuse campaign, said she’s hoping to organise some people to protest at its London premiere.

Fifty Shades Of Grey is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by E.L. James, and stars Dakota Johnson (as Anastasia Steele) and Jamie Dornan (as Christian Grey). It will be released in theatres across the UK and U.S. on Feb. 13.


The Numbers


NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.


The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.


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