Jamie Dornan attends the GQ Men of the Year awards at The Royal Opera House on September 2, 2014 in London, England.
Mike Marsland—WireImage/Getty Images
January 2, 2015 7:11 AM EST

The hotly-anticipated February release of Fifty Shades of Grey has many people wound up, but not necessarily in a good way. The film, which portrays a relationship between a sexually dominant man and his submissive partner, already has some advocacy groups criticisizing its storyline, saying it promotes sexual violence.

But the film’s star, actor Jamie Dornan has defended not only Fifty Shades of Grey, but also BDSM (bondage, domination and sadomasochism) culture.

“I can understand why people say tying a woman up and spanking her is misogynistic. But actually, more men are submissive than women. Very powerful men,” Dornan said of BDSM in an interview with Elle UK magazine. “It’s a far bigger scene than I imagined: in pretty much any city in the world that you could name, people want to get spanked with a paddle with studs on it.” But in the film, he continued, “[t]he love story is more important than the BDSM aspect. I mean, we are going to tell a love story, you know, it can’t just be what happens in the Red Room, that’s not a film. There’s so much more going on than that.”

His comments follow criticism from the U.S.-based group Morality in the Media, which issued a statement last summer saying that the film “romanticizes and normalizes sexual violence” and “glamorizes and legitimatizes violence against women.”

[The Hollywood Reporter]

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