Online activists have launched a campaign against the controversial release of Fifty Shades of Grey. The movement claims the film glamorizes domestic violence, and urges fans to boycott the cinema release.
The campaign, called “50 dollars not 50 shades” encourages people to donate the cost of an evening at the cinema to a charity which supports victims of domestic abuse.
Some 6,000 people have already liked the Facebook page, and the hashtag #50DollarsNot50Shades has made a significant impact on Twitter.
“The money you would have spent on movie tickets and a babysitter or movie tickets, popcorn and drinks will go towards serving victims of abusive relationships like the one glamorized in the Fifty Shades series,” the Facebook page reads.
“Hollywood doesn’t need your money; abused women do.”
Activists claim the main character in the film, Anastasia Steele, represents the plight of sexually abused victims worldwide through her entrance into a dominance-submission sexual relationship with the male lead, Christian Grey.
In one notable scene she forgets her “safeword” – a word she can use to stop the sexual encounter – and Grey ignores her pleas to stop.
The campaign is backed by activist groups Stop Porn Culture and the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. However, levels of support for the campaign pale in comparison to the number of the franchise’s fans.
The trilogy of books has been translated into over 50 languages and sold more than 100 million copies worldwide.
Natalie Collins, the British domestic violence worker behind the 50 Shades is Abuse campaign launched after the novels were published, told the Independent: “A lot of the criticism of our campaign is that there’s nothing wrong with BDSM – we’re not saying there is.”
“But people within the BDSM community are outraged by how the book portrays their lifestyle. This book romanticizes a perpetrator of abuse,” she added.
The movie goes on general release on Valentine’s Day and is expected to be a hit.