PRESS RELEASE – Tuesday 31 January 2017
Protestors will be descending upon the Fifty Shades Darker film premiere in London on 9th February 2017. This is the second film based on the books by EL James and continues the story of Anastasia Steele’s relationship with billionaire Christian Grey. The film is being released for Valentine’s Day, framing Fifty Shades Darker as a romantic story. However, the aptly named film betrays that this franchise is much darker than kinky sex. The plotline for Fifty Shades Darker provides Christian Grey’s backstory; a drug addicted “crackwhore” mother whose boyfriend tortured Christian Grey as a toddler and an adult woman who groomed teenage Christian Grey for sex. This is revealed to be the motivation for Christian Grey’s desire to sexually dominate women. He seeks out women who look like his mother in order to sexually punish them.
Practitioners of BDSM (bondage, domination, sado-masochism) and domestic abuse prevention experts have joined forces to raise their concerns about the messages the books and films portray through the Fifty Shades is Domestic Abuse Campaign.
The campaign was founded in 2012 by domestic abuse prevention expert Natalie Collins, she says “Fifty Shades is more than just a fiction series, it is a social phenomenon. Its success evidences society-wide ignorance about abusive behaviour, normalises abusers and perpetuates damaging stereotypes about BDSM sexualities. 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 campaign is co-run by Emma Tofi, who read Fifty Shades whilst going through counselling following her own experiences of being subjected to abuse. She says, “I had believed the hype about Fifty Shades being a love story and thought it might rekindle my broken faith in romance. As I read the books, I was horrified to find myself reading about an abuser exactly like my ex-partner, and he was being repackaged as ‘sexy and romantic’. Only by discovering the Fifty Shades is Domestic Abuse campaign did I begin to realise that I was not alone in being triggered by the books. This realisation strengthened my resolve to speak out against the dangerous abuse myths perpetuated by Fifty Shades and to begin educating others on the reality of abusers.”
The Fifty Shades is Domestic Abuse campaign will be using the hashtag #dontbeblindtoabuse in protesting at the premiere and on social media, encouraging protestors to do take photographs of themselves blindfolded, emphasising that the Fifty Shades series has, unfortunately, blurred the lines between abuse and romance, meaning many simply cannot see the abuse it contains. Alongside this, the campaign is encouraging people to boycott the film and instead donate £5 to UK domestic abuse charity, Women’s Aid. This can be done via their website or by texting FREE to 70500.
The campaign will be holding a pre-protest meeting at O’Neills on Wardour Street, Soho, at 3:30pm, before heading to the Fifty Shades Darker premiere itself. They welcome anyone who wishes to protest against the glorification of abuse, or the dangerously inaccurate portrayal of BDSM featured in the film.
For more information contact:
Natalie Collins, Campaign Founder: firstname.lastname@example.org | 07928 031580.
Emma Tofi, Campaign Social Media Manager: email@example.com
Website: www.50shadesisdomesticabuse.webs.com. Twitter: @50shadesabuse.