February 8, 2018

Press Statement: Abuse in 50 Shades Freed Fuels #MeToo Culture

The Fifty Shades franchise is advertised as an erotic romance, but in reality it is a story of sexual violence.

Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation said, “Fifty Shades Freed, irresponsibly and dangerously legitimizes sexual violence against women and encourages women to accept this type of abuse as normal or even desirable.”

“If we are ready to transform how our culture treats women — from exploitative to empowering — we need to stop making and watching films like Fifty Shades Freed that glamorize sexual violence against women.   

“It is entirely hypocritical that this film is coming out amid the momentum of Hollywood support for the #MeToo campaign. This story sends a message that an abusive relationship can eventually turn into a loving one and suggests money and prestige permit a person to sexually exploit people at will,” Hawkins added.

Fifty Shades Freed condones or outright encourages the physical and psychological torture many women cannot escape from. The Domestic Violence Hotline reports more than half of female victims of rape identified their intimate partner as the offender. Women like Anastasia don’t have ‘happily ever afters,’ they suffer at the tyrannical hand of their abuser.

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation, along with other organizations like Culture Reframed, the London Abused Women’s Centre, and Collective Shout have opposed the franchise from the start. In an effort to oppose the film’s release,  these groups have conducted a joint 50 Dollars not 50 Shades campaign. Instead of buying a ticket to Fifty Shades, donate 50 dollars to a women’s organization and help stop abuse.

National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Founded in 1962, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is the leading national organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health crisis of pornography.

Further Reading