Moviegoers planning to see "50 Shades of Grey" are probably comfortable with the idea of whips and ropes, but they may have to add picket signs and loudspeakers to their list.
Several organizations are planning protests of the best-selling novel’s on-screen adaptation set to hit theaters Friday, citing everything from the book’s “degradation and subjection of women” to worries about a negative characterization of sadomasochism.
A group of dominatrices will protest the film and denounce its depiction of their community Thursday and Saturday nights at the Regal Cinemas at LA Live in downtown Los Angeles.
"It perpetuates the worst stereotypes of the S&M community - that it’s about violence, it’s about rape, and kidnapping," said Tara Indiana, a retired professional dominatrix who was in the business for 25 years.
Indiana said that many "doms" were conflicted with the series’ widespread popularity. On one hand, they hated S&M’s portrayal in the story. On the other, it helped propel their way of life into the mainstream.
But Indiana decided that the misrepresentation was too much and she couldn't stay silent.
"The most offensive is this kind of storyline that the master, Christian, is damaged and has these issues that through the love of this virginal woman over the course of the book, is fixed," Indiana said.
"Part of me just hates it because it’s bad porn and I hate bad porn," she continued. "Real S&M is about trust and consent and it’s empowerment, particularly for women."
But other groups feel the film portrays violent and misogynist content is a way that promotes violence toward women, and protests are planned for the Regency Theater showing in Westwood.
"50 Shades of Grey" was made by NBC4's parent company, NBC Universal.