Fifty Shades Darker’s cast and crew have dismissed claims that the franchise glamorizes domestic abuse and violence.
Campaigners for the 50 Shades Is Domestic Abuse group were so incensed by Fifty Shades Darker that they protested outside the UK premiere for the film, as they insisted that it perpetuates “damaging stereotypes about BDSM sexualities” while also normalizing abusers. About five individuals held several banners near the red carpet for the film, while also wearing t-shirts. They insisted that their “huge concern” with the film is that it suggests “we as a society are unable to recognize abuse.”
Speaking at the premiere, Natalie Collins, the founder of the campaign and an expert in domestic abuse prevention, told The Sun, “Hundreds of people are here and they’re here to celebrate a film that glamorises and normalises abusive behavior.”
Collins continued, “As the recent women’s marches demonstrate, gender equality continues to be an unachievable goal, whilst powerful, abusive men gain greater power. Fifty Shades Darker is further normalising abuse and we are seeking to peacefully protest its messages and educate people about abusive behaviour.”
The cast and crew for Fifty Shades Darker were quizzed about the protests that looked to overshadow the erotic drama’s premiere, and they insisted that the protesters had misinterpreted the film. Dakota Johnson, who played Anastasia Steele in both Fifty Shades Of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker, defended both the character and the franchise to the Associated Press, via the Telegraph.
“I think if those people were to see the film they would see that Anastasia is an incredibly empowered young woman and everything she does is of her own volition. I think she carries herself with such integrity and self worth that maybe if they watched it they would feel a little bit inspired.”
Jamie Dornan, who portrays Christian Grey in the series, echoed Dakota Johnson’s comments, insisting that the world of S&M is all about trust and maintaining boundaries.
“The biggest part of S&M is boundaries, having a safe word, that’s what that is. People only do it because they want to, nobody forces you into it. Some people like to be tied up and whipped, I don’t but lots of people do in the world, they love it and that is their right. It’s consensual and that should close that argument.”
EL James, who wrote the Fifty Shades Of Grey trilogy as well as produced the two cinematic adaptations, dismissed the claims, too, insisting that the franchise wouldn’t have become such a global phenomenon if they did promote abuse.
“I think if it did we wouldn’t have all of these women here. That’s a very important issue and they are hanging it on this. I don’t know why they are hanging it on this but if it was any of those things none of these women would be here and be supporting it.”
A “baffled” James Foley, who stepped in to replace Sam Taylor-Johnson as the director for Fifty Shades Darker, was another member of the film’s cast and crew that couldn’t understand the protests, and he even called the claims “ridiculous.”
“This is two consensual adults doing exactly what they want to be doing. He is incredibly respectful of her and in several of the instances she initiates, so any kind of exploitation of a woman, for Darker at least, is totally ridiculous.”
This campaign has failed to stop Fifty Shades Darker from being a success, though, as the erotic drama has already grossed over $146.9 million across the world in just its opened weekend. It managed to do so despite competition from both John Wick: Chapter 2 and The LEGO Batman Movie.
[Featured Image by Associated Press/Vianney Le Caer]