When the novel Fifty Shades of Grey was published three years ago, critics described it as “dull and poorly written,” “depressing” and “a sad joke.” Yet, it sold 100 million copies. Women were fascinated by the dark tale of a 21-year-old college student, Ana Steele, who falls in love with a handsome but mysterious young billionaire named Christian Grey after she interviews him for a newspaper. The book was accurately dubbed “mommy porn” because it is sexually graphic and full of crude language, and also because Christian expects his girlfriends to totally submit to his sexual tastes—which involve whips, chains, handcuffs and gray neckties. This is not just mainstream porn. This is mainstream bondage porn. And it’s coming to a theater near you, just in time for Valentine’s Day. The movie version of the book will hit theaters on Feb. 13, and Fandango says Fifty Shades of Grey is already breaking records for advance ticket sales. Presumably, fans of the book will be lining up at the cineplex to watch Christian abuse Ana in his bedroom, which she calls the Red Room of Pain.
Critics expected the film to be rated N-17. (After all, the actor who plays Christian, Jamie Dornan, visited a sex dungeon to prepare for the role.) But the Motion Picture Association of America announced last week that Fifty Shades will be rated R. That means (1) the sex scenes were edited carefully, (2) teenagers can see it legally, and (3) the movie will probably make a ton of money. I think I’m going to be sick. We Americans get really angry when oil companies spill toxic fuel in our oceans; yet we applaud when Hollywood dumps a tanker of poisonous garbage like Fifty Shades of Grey on our country—with no offer to clean up the damage. We should be outraged. I’m not going to picket my local theater when this movie debuts, but I’m urging people to think before they spend $10.50 to flush what’s left of American decency down the toilet. Here are three of the biggest reasons why we should urge everyone to cover their eyes and run from Fifty Shades of Grey: More