Fifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral backlash from US parenting groups

Moral watchdogs have condemned the film for promoting sexual violence

Daisy Wyatt
Sunday 27 July 2014 13:00
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Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film

It has been labelled ‘Fifty Shades of Tame’ by many British commentators, but the Fifty Shades of Grey trailer has provoked an angry attack from conservative groups in the US.

Moral watchdogs have issued statements calling on people to take action against the “sexually violent” film, following the release of the first Fifty Shades of Grey trailer yesterday.

Morality in Media said the film helped to promote a “rape and sexual violence culture [that] is now permeating our society”.

In a statement on its Porn Harms Action Centre website, it said: “The Fifty Shades of Gray [sic] series promotes torture as sexually gratifying and normalizes domestic violence, particularly violence against women.

“With the popularity of this book, mainstream opinion-makers (like Oprah, the Today Show and Broadway) are telling the public (especially youth) that humiliation, degredation [sic] and torture in sex is normal and to just give it a try.”

Dawn Hawkins, the organisation’s executive director, added: “Do we really want our sons to become Christian Greys, practicing a violent masculinity that degrades men as well?”

The Parents Television Council (PTC) has also criticised the film as well as NBC’s Today show for airing an edited down clip of the trailer on TV at 8am.

“Here's a book and a movie that are really normalizing and even romanticizing BDSM relationships, and I think that that's very troubling, especially the way that this romance is presented in the trailer, ” PTC’s Melissa Henson told The Hollywood Reporter.

The PTC said the shortened version of the trailer should not have been broadcast despite the omission of ‘raunchier’ scenes.

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“It seems like a very ordinary … romance story, so the fact that they cut off the last few seconds, if anything, might be a little suggestive, a little misleading because you don't truly understand what this movie is about unless you've read the articles or read the book.

“That's definitely going to be appealing and probably going to pique [a teenage girl's] interest and be something that she wants to see — and for parents that don't know what the book is about or what the movie is about, they may easily consent to letting their teenage daughter see this film. ”

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