News that the upcoming sex-and-bondage film “Fifty Shades of Grey” has been given an “R” rating has irritated an anti-pornography organization.
An “R” rating “severely undermines the violent themes in the film and does not adequately inform parents and patrons of the film’s content,” Dawn Hawkins, executive director of Morality in Media, said Monday.
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) warns that “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which is due out around Valentine’s Day, has “strong sexual content including dialogue, some unusual behavior and graphic nudity,” said Ms. Hawkins.
“What the term ‘unusual’ does not account for is the coercion, sexual violence, female inequality, and BDSM themes from which the entire ‘Fifty Shades’ plot is based,” she said.
The MPAA ratings and “fairy tale” label given to the film “mask the true themes of humiliation, manipulation, abuse, and degradation of women,” added Ms. Hawkins.
“Fifty Shades of Grey” and its two additional books are built around wealthy Christian Grey’s erotic seduction of new romantic partner Anastasia Steele into his world of bondage, domination and sadomasochism (BDSM).
The books have sold more than 100 million copies around the world.
The first trailer for the movie, released in July, was viewed quickly by more than 35 million people.
Another movie trailer was aired as part of Sunday night’s Golden Globes Awards show.
Author E.L. James recently told People magazine that romance is “what readers enjoy most about ‘Fifty Shades.’ “
“When people fall in love, a certain amount of friskiness inevitably follows,” she said.
Pornography critics, such as Ms. Hawkins, are dismayed that idea of romance would ever be tied to BDSM.
“We’d like to change the MPAA rating for ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ to read: ‘Promotes torture as sexually gratifying, graphic nudity, encourages stalking and abuse of power, promotes female inequality, glamorizes and legitimizes violence against women,’” Ms. Hawkins said Monday.
“Is this the description of a movie you’d promote to your son or daughter? What about yourself?” she added.