LOS ANGELES, California — On Friday night, a group of USC students stood outside of L.A. Live’s Regal Theatre wearing “Blue About Grey” T-shirts in hopes of providing a different perspective about the film that spectators, like much of America, were eagerly waiting to see.
The release of Fifty Shades of Grey coincided with Valentine’s Day, an internationally-recognized day of love. But as University of Southern California senior Lisa Gavit and a group of fellow students passed out small hand-written “self-awareness” notes with Hershey’s kisses on them, they were sending out a different message. In their view, the movie was not the ideal portrayal of love. Instead, they saw a message condoning obsession and abuse.
“We were disappointed with the entire plot line of the story where Anna is manipulated, pressured, controlled and even stalked by Christian. And we didn’t like the fact that the story was portraying this as a romantic relationship and glorifying the relationship,” Lisa said in an interview with Breitbart News. “We’re ‘Blue About Grey,'” another volunteer said, “because Fifty Shades of Grey promotes domestic abuse.”
The R-rated film is an adaptation of E.L. James’ erotic novel, which has sold over 100 million copies worldwide. It is expected to break box office history as the highest-grossing February debut ever.
Lisa noted that she believes Anastasia Steele (played by Dakota Johnson) has low self-esteem and that Christian Grey (played by Jamie Dornan) capitalizes on that.
“How is somebody who is being controlled inside and outside of the bedroom an empowered woman” she asked.
Fellow USC student Angela says she “found the book to be really creepy…it’s unhealthy.”
One of the notes that the male and female students handed out read, “You are beautiful, you are valuable, you deserve respect #BlueAboutGrey,” and was surrounded by a heart. On the other side was written: “True manhood does not seek to compromise a woman’s purity, true manhood stands up to heroically protect it.”
While those present seemed to agree that abuse was taking place during the film, not everyone saw the plot line from the same perspective.
A man named Vell who was waiting to watch the film with his girlfriend said he also believed Anastasia was being abused by Grey. When Breitbart News asked if he felt there was a higher price placed on Anastasia’s value as a woman because she was a virgin, he replied: “In a sense….But, I mean. I mean I think she kind of used it to her advantage as well.
“In the film, when Anastasia Steele asks what she would get in return for submitting herself to Christian Grey, he responded “you will get me.”
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz