Kids exposed to bondage-themed scenes in Fifty Shades Freed trailers on Channel 7 during Winter Olympics
Here’s how to make a complaint.
We’ve received feedback from various supporters regarding Channel 7 broadcasting the trailer for MA rated film Fifty Shades Freed, during the Winter Olympics and at times children are likely to be watching.
The trailer included highly sexualised content, featuring a bondage-themed scene in which a woman in lingerie was blindfolded and tied up.
We’ve heard from parents whose children as young as six were exposed to this content while watching the Winter Olympics during the day- one even at 10.30 am.
There are restrictions placed on what content can be shown on TV, and when. Free TV Australia’s Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice lists several codes that apply here:
2.2.3 MA15+ Classification zone. Subject to subclause 2.3.2(b), material that has been classified MA15+ may only be broadcast between 8.30 pm and 5.00 am on any day.
2.4.2 During Sports Programs and Films classified G or PG which commence before 8.30 pm and continue after 8.30 pm, all non-Program material must be no higher than a PG classification.
2.4.4 A Program Promotion for a Program classified M or MA15+ must not be broadcast during any Program classified G: a) which is principally directed to Children; and b) broadcast between 5.00 am and 8.30 pm.
It is worth noting also that commercials for sexual services are only permitted after 11pm and before 5 am, suggesting a recognition that highly sexualised or adult content should not be broadcast during hours when children might see them.
Make a complaint
You can make a complaint via an electronic form on Free TV Australia’s website. Complaints must contain the date, time, channel and location as well as a brief description of the material. Licensees (TV stations) are required to respond to complaints within 30 days.
Have you made a complaint? Let us know in the comments.
Open letter to Autism Advisory & Support Service: Parents of children with Autism call for cancellation of Fifty Shades fundraiser
Dear Autism Advisory & Support Service,
Collective Shout is a registered charity campaigning against the objectification of women and the sexualisation of girls in media, advertising and popular. We have more than 30,000 supporters around the country.
It has come to our attention that AASS is holding a screening of Fifty Shades Freed as a fundraiser for children with Autism and their families. We have heard from parents of children with Autism and related behavioural conditions who are distressed that a BDSM-themed film promoting intimate partner abuse and sexual violence is being screened to raise funds for their children.
Along with survivors, anti-violence organisations, domestic violence services and women’s refuges, we have for years spoken out against Fifty Shades of Grey and its promotion of men’s violence against women. The series romanticises domestic abuse, including threats, humiliation, isolation and stalking, as well as sexual violence. We’ve recently partnered with a global coalition of groups for a third time to raise awareness of the harmful messages being propagated by Fifty Shades of Grey.
Parents have contacted us with their concerns about this event. Some have expressed frustration that a film of this nature sends the wrong message about women to their children, undermining their efforts to teach their children appropriate behaviours, rules and social norms. Others have indicated the advertising material for this film would be distressing for their children.
Concerns have also been raised about the impact on children with Autism with backgrounds of abuse. According to the Autism Society, there is strong research evidence that children on the autism spectrum experience abuse at rates higher than the general population, with studies citing physical, sexual and emotional abuse.
Psychologist Collett Smart echoed these concerns in a statement to Collective Shout: “As a psychologist and qualified teacher, with experience working with children on the Autism spectrum and those with special educational needs, I am appalled that the Autism Advisory & Support Service would consider the screening of Fifty Shades Freed as a fundraising option. Celebrating a movie like Fifty Shades sends highly confusing messages to those already vulnerable.”
Together with parents and family members of children with an ASD, we ask that you cancel this screening and select a more appropriate film.
Collective Shout: for a world free of sexploitation
Seija Gow *
Name withheld by request
Name withheld by request
Name withheld by request
PO Box 781
Neutral Bay NSW 2089
I pledge to boycott 'Fifty Shades Darker'
The second film in the 'Fifty Shades of Grey' trilogy is set to be released in cinemas around Valentines Day 2017.
As individuals committed to upholding the dignity and rights of women, we refuse to support a film that romanticises intimate partner violence and portrays the abuse of women as sexy, harmless fun. We will not participate in excusing, downplaying or accepting men's violence against women.
Please join us and pledge to boycott the film.
Add your name below.
Cross 'em off your Christmas list: Our 2015 list of corporate sexploitation offenders
It’s that time of year again! As the Christmas season draws near, companies are competing for your business.Read more
50 Shades Myths: It's so popular
Fifty Shades of Grey is popular in large part because of the misleading way the the trilogy has been promoted. It has been marketed as "romance" and "porn for women" and defended as "playful fantasy encouraging women to become more daring in their sexuality." If the story was promoted for what it is - a powerful sadistic man grooming a naive young woman for sexual violence and abuse - we doubt it would achieve the same popularity.
The popularity of Fifty Shades’ means it has even greater potential to perpetuate and reinforce damaging attitudes about abusive relationships.
Throughout history many there are many examples of oppression, violence and injustice that were popular or socially accepted in their time, but are now strongly rejected.
Is Fifty Shades Triumphant for Women? Or Further Entrapping Them?Amy E. Bonomi Department of Human Development Chair, Michigan State University
The Fifty Shades trilogy, the Western world's fastest selling paperback series, has been heralded as triumphant for women because of the influence that "plain looking" Anastasia has on the emotions and behaviors of "Greek god-like" Christian Grey.
Triumphant for women?
Our systematic analysis of Fifty Shades of Grey, the first novel in the trilogy, reveals pervasive emotional and sexual violence in Christian and Anastasia's relationship. Our analysis also shows Anastasia suffers significant harm as a result--including constant perceived threat, managing/altering her behaviors to keep peace in the relationship, lost identity and disempowerment and entrapment as her behaviors become mechanized in response to Christian's abuse. Read more.
Collective Shout responds to common pro- Fifty Shades arguments
Over the last few weeks, the campaign calling on supporters to boycott Fifty Shades of Grey and donate to a domestic violence shelter has escalated - and so too has the backlash from fans of the book series arguing that it was all just a bit of harmless, sexy fun.
We've prepared responses to some of the most common arguments we heard in support of the book series and film.
50 Shades Myths: He loves her so much
To accept this argument would be to believe that stalking, possessiveness, manipulation, jealousy, control and other elements of intimate partner violence are based in love - that abusive men hurt their female partners because they "love them so much."
Perpetrators themselves like to say they acted out of love, but this is false. The behaviours perpetrated by Christian Grey meet the criteria for intimate partner violence as outlined by the World Health Organisation:
Forms of Intimate Partner Violence
IPV refers to any behaviour within an intimate relationship that causes physical, psychological or sexual harm to those in the relationship. Examples of types of behaviour are listed below.
Acts of physical violence, such as slapping, hitting, kicking and beating.
Sexual violence, including forced sexual intercourse and other forms of sexualcoercion.
Emotional (psychological) abuse, such as insults, belittling, constant humiliation,
intimidation (e.g. destroying things), threats of harm, threats to take away children.
Controlling behaviours, including isolating a person from family and friends; monitoring their movements; and restricting access to financial resources, employment, education or medical care. Source.
50 Shades Myths: It's just fiction
Many Fifty Shades fans argue that it is just a book/film, a work of fiction, and as such the eroticized representations of violence against women have no power to influence thinking, attitudes or beliefs.
However, an analysis of the novel found sexual violence and emotional abuse were pervasive and the popular book series had the power to influence attitudes and beliefs surrounding intimate partner violence. The authors argued that “individuals regularly alter their real world beliefs and attitudes in response to fictional communication” and “stories are especially influential when readers become drawn into them and cognitive resources, emotions, and mental imagery faculties are engaged.”
The authors noted in their conclusion "our analysis adds to a growing body of literature noting dangerous violence standards being perpetuated in popular culture."
As Melbourne based mental health professional Geoff Ahern says, “It’s fiction that glorifies fear, intimidation, stalking and violence against women. When I read extracts from the book I hear my clients telling the same stories and that is most certainly not fiction.”
Those who argue Fifty Shades has no impact on their attitudes often in the same breath describe the impact it has had on their sex life, inspiring enthusiasm and sparking their interest in new sex acts they had not engaged in or shown interest in prior to reading the books. Sex shops around the world testify to the popularity of BDSM themed sex toys, such as whips, restraints and handcuffs in the wake of the popularity of the book and film.
Fifty Shades is part of a wider culture where women are taught their greatest power comes from being an object of male desire, that men act and women are acted upon, that male dominance and female submission is normal and appropriate.
Sociologist Gail Dines writes, ‘Only by contextualizing Fifty Shades in the larger pop-porn culture can we begin to understand its popularity and impact on our culture at large. From Robin Thicke’s bestselling song “Blurred Lines” which tells women “I know you want it” over and over again, to the raping and killing of prostituted women in the Grand Theft Auto video game series, pop culture is awash in images that normalize violence against women.
'Research by media sociologists has shown that the more consistent and coherent the messages across a range of media genres, the more power they have to construct the worldview of media consumers.’
Academic and researcher Kristin Diemer wrote, “Community attitudes on violence against women are an important barometer on gender relations. They illustrate the way people respond when they witness violence, whether victims feel confident to seek help, and whether perpetrators are likely to be excused or held to account for their actions. Changing attitudes is crucial to preventing crises in the longer term…Community attitudes shape the way we respond to domestic violence.”
The notion that media and our environment does not play a role in our values and attitudes is contrary to the actions of multi-million dollar corporations that produce advertising designed to change the way we think and behave.
As marketing expert Nigel Hollis noted - companies expect a return on their investment and they wouldn't invest billions of dollars every year on something they thought didn't work.
"Domestic Violence dressed up as Erotica" - Lisa Wilkinson's review of 50 Shades of Grey
As reported by 9 News:Read more
Fifty dollars not Fifty Shades
Put your money where women like Anastasia end up
Collective Shout is now a co-sponsor of the international #50dollarsnot50shades campaignRead more