February 14, 2018

World Magazine: Advertising exploitation

A New York moment:

The advertisements for the semi-pornographic Fifty Shades Freed are everywhere in New York: on taxis, on billboards in Times Square, at bus station stops, in subways. Thankfully, this is the final film of the trilogy, so our eyes will get a break soon. I can happily say I don’t know much about the film except that it has a 12 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and The Hollywood Reporter called the series “one of the worst film franchises in recent memory.” But it’s also grossed almost a billion dollars, even before this latest installment.

Freed has also received attention from a handful of women’s groups, like the National Center on Sexual Exploitation—an organization that got its start in New York City in the 1960s and has long argued that pornography is a public health crisis. The organization has criticized both the Fifty Shades books and movies for glamorizing sexual violence against women, and this year its executive director, Dawn Hawkins, argued that the latest film release is “hypocritical” amid Hollywood’s #MeToo campaign. NCOSE says the film “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.” The organization has urged filmgoers to donate to women’s shelters instead of paying for tickets to the movie.

Read the article by Emily Belz here.

Further Reading