“Today Show” promotes “Fifty Shades of Grey” and domestic violence

In just one week, E.L. James fans will see Hollywood’s take on her twisted tale, “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Regardless of the film’s “unusual” content, as the MPAA describes it, the book’s main theme will burn through the big screen: Domestic violence and sexual abuse against women is romantic and empowering—and women want it. You can shade a lie any color you want, but it does not make it true. Hollywood is fetishing gender inequality and selling it as an empowered love story. The latest twist is that this agenda was pushed by morning talked shows, like “The Today Show,” all last week.

On Thursday, February 8, 2015, Kathie Lee and Hoda interviewed “Fifty Shades” author, E.L. James, discussing the author’s desire for the representation of the sex from the book to be “tasteful” and her concerns for how it would be treated. Kathie Lee agreed saying, “S&M needs to be tasteful.” It is shameful for two prominent women to promote such abuse. Violence is not tasteful and the results of such acts are horrifying, not sexy.

"The Today Show" hosts, Hoda & Kathie Lee interviewed "Fifty Shades of Grey" author, E.L. James.
“The Today Show” hosts, Hoda & Kathie Lee interviewed “Fifty Shades of Grey” author, E.L. James.

At the, pre-screening of “Fifty Shades” for Today, hosts paused mid-film for some updates. Host, Al Roker asked Carson Daly, “Did you make a checklist of things to get for Valentine’s Day from Home Depot?” Daly quipped back saying, “You don’t have to fight the crowds for chocolate or roses. You can just hit your local hardware store and you’d probably be good.” The reality is that, according to Safe Horizon, 1 in 4 women experience domestic abuse in their lifetimes, and 60 percent of that abuse occurs in the home—and those are the documented numbers. There are many untold stories of abuse, degradation, coercion and manipulation in America, many of them occurring in your community.   Women did not work tirelessly for decades for equality to relinquish their control to men by enduring violent and degrading acts labeled as “hot” or “romantic.”

This month, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, Stop Porn Culture, and London Abused Women’s Centre launched the #50DollarsNot50Shades campaign urging patrons to skip the film and to donate money to a local women’s shelter. Dozens of other organizations have joined the effort and the thousands of men and women internationally are speaking out and supporting survivors of domestic abuse.

The consequences of “Fifty Shades’” abuse-for-entertainment narrative are evident even before the international release of the film. Last week, concerned parents were understandably outraged when a Target retailer placed Fifty Shades themed sex toys next to the children’s toothbrushes. AMC Theaters has placed a ban on moviegoers bringing “weapons (real or fake), or props/costumes that would make guests uncomfortable.”

Do not be fooled. “Fifty Shades of Grey” is not a love story. Hollywood’s abuse-for-entertainment agenda is not subliminal; it’s entirely intentional and will be set loose on Valentine’s Day. Join the #50DollarsNot50Shades campaign and support survivors, rather than the abuse of “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Selling sexual violence has consequences. We urge the American public to boycott the film and to educate themselves about the dangerous messages of “Fifty Shades.”

Boycott the film! Give instead to Women's Shelters!
Boycott the film! Give instead to Women’s Shelters!

Join the movement to and defend dignity and end sexual exploitation. Visit FiftyShadesisAbuse.com to learn about the 50+ harms of “Fifty Shades of Grey and how you can get involved in #50DollarsNot50Shades and #FiftyShadesisAbuse campaigns.

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.


NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.



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