February 5, 2015

‘Fifty Shades’: Domestic Violence Activists Want Boycott, Support for Battered Women

Hilary Lewis
February 4, 2015
Hollywood Reporter

A grassroots campaign, launched last week and gaining steam on social media, is urging moviegoers to boycott Fifty Shades of Grey and use the money they would spend on tickets, popcorn and drinks ($50) to support a domestic violence shelter or agency.

“The money you would have spent on movie tickets and a babysitter or movie tickets, popcorn and drinks will go towards serving victims of abusive relationships like the one glamorized in the 50 Shades series,” the #50dollarsnot50shades campaign says on its Facebook page. “Hollywood doesn’t need your money; abused women do.”

The film, and best-selling erotic novel by EL James on which the movie was based, focuses on the BDSM relationship between businessman Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and the virginal college student Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson).

The campaign, which as of Wednesday morning has 4,156 likes on its Facebook page, is backed by several American and Canadian anti-abuse and anti-exploitation organizations, including the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, which condemned the film in its own Facebook post last month; Canada’s London Abused Women’s Centre; Stop Porn Culture; Antipornography.org; One Angry Girl Designs; and Provincial Association of Transition Houses and Services of Saskatchewan.

The campaign and its sponsors say Fifty Shades glamorizes violence against women.

Real women “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 told The Washington Times, adding that the film makes “violence sexy” but doesn’t deal with the dangers and consequences of controlling, abusive relationships.

Campaign organizers from Stop Porn Culture and the London Abused Women’s Centre told the Timeson Monday that they were “thrilled with the amazing response” and that they had already “gotten confirmation of donations to domestic violence agencies as far away as Germany and Australia.”

“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,” the organizers said.

The below Facebook post from the campaign, urging people to click like if they were “kinda maybe going to see FSOG…and this page convinced you not to buy your tickets!” has received 178 likes since it was posted on Monday.

National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Founded in 1962, National Center on Sexual Exploitation is the leading national organization opposing pornography by highlighting the links to sex trafficking, violence against women, child abuse, addiction and more. The organization changed its name from Morality In Media to the National Center on Sexual Exploitation early in 2015 to better describe the organization’s scope and mission, which is to expose the seamless connection between all forms of sexual exploitation.

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