Sunday, February 1, 2015

Did 50 Shades of Grey Choose the Wrong Actor?

With all the misconceptions about the BDSM lifestyle, I considered the book 50 Shades of Grey overall to be a positive step to the erotic romance genre, especially BDSM. Because EL James’ book brought this genre out into the open and made it mainstream, the book made BDSM acceptable to some degree, or at least acceptable to read. Want proof? Take a look at how many months her books have remained on the bestseller lists.

I do have my concerns about the book, mainly how the author portrayed the ‘hero’ as having mental issues and that’s why he craved this type of sex. The book made it sound as if BDSM was abnormal. The author absolutely had every right to portray her characters anyway she likes, and write her story. And I congratulate her on writing a series that resonated so well with a vast number of readers! My concern is that readers being introduced to the BDSM lifestyle for the first time by reading this book might assumed that ALL those involved in the lifestyle must be abnormal like Christian Grey. Far from the truth.

I remember a while ago, there was so much talk going around about who would be the actor to portray Christian Grey. The actor Jaime Dornan got the role and I recently heard about his interview with Elle magazine. Now I’m convinced they should’ve chosen someone else. His negative comments about the diverse lifestyle and sexual orientation of BDSM truly surprised and saddened me. For someone who went to a dungeon to observe Dominance and submission to better understand his role in 50 Shades, he better be good at faking it, because he completely missed the point, and frankly, I don’t know how he can do a good job ‘acting’ like he enjoys it even for the movie. Even if a particular lifestyle doesn’t meet with your tastes, his rude and close-minded comments, well, says a lot about his character.

Dorman’s comment to Elle about his visit to the BDSM dungeon: ‘I saw a dominant with one of his two submissives. I was like: ‘Come on guys, I know I’m not paying for this, but I am expecting a show.’”

He later said after he left he went back to his wife and newborn baby and, ‘I had a long shower before touching either of them.’

Seriously? This made me cringe and I would like to ask this actor, “What century are you living in?” Certainly, everyone has different tastes concerning sensuality. I felt his comments were rude, insensitive and intolerant.

Dr. Charley Ferrer, Clinical Sexologist and BDSM Advocate, said about the interview: “I find it appalling that an actor who’s being paid millions to represent a sexual lifestyle orientation would make such derogatory comments. Perhaps films should require their actors to sign contracts were the actors don’t discriminate against those who butter their bread. Or perhaps, Dorkan doesn’t know how to comport himself without cue cards and a camera. Then again, we can’t expect much from an underwear model, can you?”

Dr. Ferrer gives spankings for Christian Grey and also to Dorman’s remarks, “As someone who embraces this sexual orientation and teaches individuals around the world about the truths associated with Dominance and submission, I take offense to Dorkan’s comments as they perpetuate a bias which leads to discrimination and bigotry. It makes me wonder if he would also go to a gay bar or shake hands with an African American and declare his need for, “…a long shower before touching either of them [wife and baby]."

I won’t be watching this film when it comes out on Valentine’s Day.

***There are so many books out there on BDSM that portray the lifestyle as a loving and deeply compassionate relationship, not dysfunctional or cruel. I wish they would make a film from one of those books.***

If you have a favorite BDSM novel that you think would make an awesome movie, please share in the comments. I’d love some great reading suggestions!

If you want to learn and experience the BDSM lifestyle check out the  BDSM Writers Con August 20-23 in New York City Given by Dr. Charley Ferrer. Here you’ll discover that the BDSM community is made up of men and women who respect and care for each other....not to mention have the decency to show respect for those that follow other sexual orientation.


Dr. Charley Ferrer said...

What a fabulous article, Kathy. Thanks for sharing my comments. I plan to be at the movie theater opening night handing out flyers that talks about the truths of Dominance and submission. I'm boycott the movie and asks others to do so--opening night at least--if only as a sign that discrimination in any form against any one is not tolerated.

As always, I'm here to answer questions on BDSM and help educated. Hope to see you at BDSM Writers Con August 20-23 in NYC.

maureen said...

I so appreciated both articles and appreciated the honesty & observations. I hope people who are introduced to the world of BDSM and kink thru FSOG, investigate further for the truth & reality of this lifestyle.

Suz de said...

Kathy, thanks for this post. I had felt that Dornan was the wrong actor for the role just because he's not particularly hot, but now that I know that he's ignorant and intolerant...Jeex. I hadn't planned to see the movie and now I'm certain I won't. I don't see why a single cent of mine should go to supporting that creep.

Kathy Kulig said...

Thanks Dr.C. Great idea to hand out flyers. I do hope the movie has the positive effect and causes people to explore the real side of the BDSM lifestyle.

Kathy Kulig said...

Exactly Maureen. I hope so too!

Kathy Kulig said...

You're welcome Suz. I don't think Dornan is hot either, but I had no idea he was so intolerant and insensitive. Very sad.

Dariel Raye said...

Thanks for the heads-up, Kathy. I had no idea he'd made those comments. I agree with you and Suz about him not being "hot" enough to play Christian Grey.
As for novels and novellas, Doris O'Connor has written several with enough romance to open eyes about BDSM. Her characters are as psychologically stable as most, and the books are entertaining as well.

I also saw a Lifetime movie which portrayed the lifestyle in a much more positive light. I was pleasantly surprised at their ability to avoid stereotypes.

Kathy Kulig said...

Hi Dariel, Thanks for the comments and suggestions about Doris O'Connor. I'll check her out. I've been in my editing cave! Sounds awesome.