50 Shades of Grey will premiere this Valentines Day. For months, the film’s trailer and advertisements have received criticism for their sexual content and nature.
Advocacy and religious groups have started dozens of protests on the internet to boycott the film for its supposed pornographic message. The film delves into the world of BDSM, which stands for bondage and discipline, domination and submission, sadism and masochism. The question on many people’s minds is whether or not this topic should be openly discussed, let alone displayed on the big screen.
The book, written by author EL James, has sold 100 million copies nationwide. The film’s director Sam Taylor-Johnson has taken on the large task of portraying 50 Shades of Grey in a way that caters to audiences across the country. Despite the negativity, Johnson has openly defended the movie and its portrayal of the relationship between Christian and Anastasia.
“If you start a movie with a woman seen through a man’s eyes, that woman is objectified by him throughout. So we deliberately don’t start that way,” Taylor-Johnson said, according to The Guardian. “We start with Anastasia coming into his world and grappling with it – so she’s an autonomous person.”
Former Miss District of Columbia and Domestic Violence Awareness Advocate Jennifer Corey believes the relationship portrayed in the book was consensual and is excited to see the film.
“Their relationship in the book was consensual,” she said. “And I think that’s really important when discussing this submissive relationship.”
Gwen, an education coordinator at Secret Pleasures (a sex/kink store in Washington D.C.) says that the book was good for opening up conversation about the topic but dangerous as an example. She says, “There’s just a lot of issues in terms of how BDSM is portrayed. There was the lack of safety and lack of communication that the book portrays that a lot of people were picking up on and didn’t realize that it was problematic because they’ve never been involved in the scene in the first place.”
Featuring Jennifer Corey, Gwen from Secret Pleasures in DC, and News2share’s Wallis Neff
Produced by Ford Fischer and Taylor Kinzler
Edited by Ford Fischer
Filmed by Ford Fischer, Wallis Neff and Taylor Kinzler