Call For Boycott of Advertisers During Sexual Violence Movie

50 shades of grey abuse 2Media Release 18 January 2017
Family First NZ is calling on TV3 to cancel the broadcast of “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie this Sunday evening, and is going to ask families to boycott businesses who advertise during the movie.

“There are two significant issues here. The first is that a television channel is showing an R18 movie on free-to-air television at 8.30pm on a weekend night during the school holidays. Under the classification system, unless TV3 can guarantee that people under the age of 18 can’t view the programme, which they can’t, they shouldn’t be broadcasting it,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“The second is that by broadcasting this movie, TV3 are counteracting the determined efforts in NZ to eliminate sexual violence and support of victims and families. While TV3 were quick to broadcast and rightly condemn the sexual actions of the ‘RoastBusters’ and Donald Trump, they have no issue with showing an R18 movie in the 8.30pm slot which normalises and glamorises sexual violence. This is called selective morality, and shows their hypocrisy. “Fifty Shades” is a model of abuse.”

“It is time we pointed the finger at the entertainment media’s role in promoting the attitudes which are destructive to our families. For too long, the media have had an unrestrained license to broadcast material which has pushed the boundaries of decency and community standards, under the so-called watchdog asleep at the wheel,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“The premise of the movie is that a woman who is humiliated, abused, controlled, entrapped, coerced, manipulated and tortured is somehow an ‘empowered’ woman. And a man who is possessive, controlling, violent, jealous and coercive is somehow showing ‘true love’. These are foul and dangerous lies. This movie and the book it is based on simply glamorises sexual violence and should be rejected by everyone who is concerned about family and sexual violence.”

“We’re asking for families to boycott the movie, to boycott businesses that advertise during the movie, and instead make a special donation to any charity that is working to eliminate sexual violence and supporting victims and families,” says Mr McCoskrie.

US psychiatrist Dr Miriam Grossman who visited NZ in 2012 says that;

Fifty Shades of Grey teaches your daughter that pain and humiliation are erotic, and your son, that girls want a guy who controls, intimidates and threatens. In short, the film portrays emotional and physical abuse as sexually arousing to both parties.” 

50 Shades AnastasiaThe US National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCSE) launched a campaign against the movie. NCSE’s website  highlighted 50-plus ways that Fifty Shades sends and normalises harmful messages. Real women “don’t end up like Anastasia; they often end up in a women’s shelter, on the run for years or dead“, said NCSE.

According to a study published in Women’s Health in 2015, young women who read sexually violent fiction often display the same behavioral symptoms as those who have actually been victimised. The research team compared women, ages 18 to 24, who had read at least one novel in the Fifty Shades series with those who had not. They found that women who read the novels are at an increased risk of being in an abusive relationship, having an eating disorder, binge drinking, and having multiple sexual partners. Victims of sexual violence often show the same behaviours.

“Ironically, both the lead actors have admitted that they don’t want family members or their own children to view the movie. That should be warning enough to our own families,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“It’s time we had a national discussion on the role of the entertainment media in undermining the welfare and protection of families. This upcoming broadcast is a classic example.”


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