• 02.04.15

Remixed “50 Shades Of Grey” Posters Show Abuse, Not Romance

One seldom-discussed aspect of the publishing phenomenon goes front and center via social justice activists.

There’ve been countless jokes about the goofy dialogue, dull version of sexiness, and absurd stereotypes running throughout 50 Shades Of Grey–and those have only intensified (and gotten funnier) as the movie draws near. But one aspect of the books that’s less funny is the dynamic between Christian Grey and Annabelle Steele.

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Depending on your perspective, the sexy submissive/dominant exploration of kink that titillated readers also included things that looked very much like abuse to some. That’s not new criticism, but with the attention on the forthcoming film at an all-time high, those who want to differentiate between consensual submissiveness and abuse have a new set of tools–namely, the movie posters. The powerful alpha-male figure of Christian Grey that appears in silhouette on the “Mr. Grey Will See You Now” poster was remixed by the Tumblr user “The Sixth Siren” to include some of the more egregious excerpts from the book, reminding those on the fence about the series that what 50 Shades passes off as sexual liberation may well cross a line into something that normalizes–or even romanticizes–sexual violence.

About the author

Dan Solomon lives in Austin with his wife and his dog. He's written about music for MTV and Spin, sports for Sports Illustrated, and pop culture for Vulture and the AV Club.