Morality in Media Criticizes R-rating for Fifty Shades of Grey

2 minute read

Anti-pornography watchdog group Morality in Media has taken issue with Fifty Shades of Grey’s R-rating, arguing that the rating “severely undermines the violent themes in the film and does not adequately inform parents and patrons of the film’s content.”

Last week, the MPAA granted the film based on E L James novel an R rating for “strong sexual content including dialogue, some unusual behavior and graphic nudity.” Morality in Media takes specific issue with the MPAA’s use of the phrase “unusual behavior” to describe the content of the film. “What the term ‘unusual’ does not account for is the coercion, sexual violence, female inequality, and BDSM themes from which the entire Fifty Shades plot is based,” the statement reads. “Such a vague evaluation puts viewers at risk, sending the message that humiliation is pleasurable and that torture should be sexually gratifying.”

The group argued: “We’d like to change the MPAA rating for Fifty Shades of Grey to read: ‘Promotes torture as sexually gratifying, graphic nudity, encourages stalking and abuse of power, promotes female inequality, glamorizes and legitimizes violence against women.’”

The organization also targeted the film when the initial trailer was released, arguing that it “deceives the public with a visually appealing melodramatic love story that romanticizes and normalizes sexual violence.”

This article originally appeared on

More Must-Reads From TIME

Contact us at