‘Fifty Shades’ screening slammed

TV3 under fire for playing Fifty Shades of Grey. Picture: ytimg

An announcement on TV3’s Facebook page has been met with mixed emotions.

On January 22, TV3 revealed that a viewer and their friend could be jet setting off to the L.A. premiere of Fifty Shades Darker if they watched the 8:30 pm screening of Fifty Shades of Grey.

The film is an adaptation of a best-selling book and stars Dakota Johnson, a “sexually inexperienced woman” who begins a relationship with a powerful businessman played by Jamie Dornan.

When the competition was posted on the Facebook page, there was a flood of likes and comments…but not all comments were in favour of the R18 film being played.

Many voiced their concerns that a movie containing “Domestic violence, torture, and psychological abuse” shouldn’t be playing at 8:30 pm on a weekend night during school holidays. Rather, that it should be put on “after 10:30 pm at least”.

Others made their opinions clear that Fifty Shades of Grey shouldn’t be playing at all, describing it as a “disgusting choice of movie for mainstream TV viewing”.

In a statement released days before the movie played, Family First NZ National Director Bob McCoskrie said he had two issues against the movie’s showing. The first is, “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.”

“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,” he added.

The discussion of the appropriateness of the screening of Fifty Shades of Grey on TV3’s post quickly became a heated one, where morals, religion and feminism came into play.

A Mediaworks spokesperson said TV3 is fully committed to its responsibilities as a Free To Air broadcaster and “in accordance with Broadcasting Standards Authority guidelines, the film was scheduled to play in the Adults Only timeslot (i.e. 8.30pm onwards), carried a content warning at the start of the film, and had been edited for television.”

The film’s sequel, Fifty Shades Darker, is set to hit the big screen on the February 9 and while many are counting down the days, there are some that are concerned about the damaging effects this may have on young unsupervised children in our communities.

Rebecca Scheib