The movie hasn't even had its premiere yet, but [Fifty Shades of Grey](movie:391697) has already caused multiple impassioned calls for banning and censorship. Following the announcement that Malaysia will not be screening the movie at all, now American theaters are putting their own restrictions on the controversial film.
Don't worry, you'll still be able to see it this weekend! But, if you were planning on dressing up, your outfit may be missing something. Certain risqué accessories will not be allowed with you in the theater this weekend, and some devoted fans are sure to be disappointed.
Three major US theater chains, AMC, Regal, and Cinemark, have requested that audiences refrain from bringing whips, ties, ropes, and any other erotic equipment that could also be used as a weapon.
A spokesperson for AMC theaters told Mashable,
While we welcome those guests who want to show their excitement for a film by dressing up in costume, we do not permit weapons (real or fake), or props/costumes that would make guests uncomfortable, or detract from the moviegoing experience.
Though Regal and Cinemark did not offer a comment, it's safe to assume that they're as nervous as AMC when it comes to the more accurate costumes. This may be a hard pill to swallow for those who have already gotten their official adult merchandise, from the "Please, Sir Flogger" to the "Twitchy Palm Spanking Paddle." These items are sure to be met with some resistance (and not the good kind).
While I'd hate to deny someone the same kind of experience many of us had when dressing up for Harry Potter or Star Wars, it's clear that the theaters are looking at this as a safety concern. Whips and riding crops may fit with the movie's central theme, but they could spell a hazard if the wrong person gets a little overzealous.
Since they are ultimately held responsible if something violent goes down, big movie theaters can't really take any chances these days. I mean, can you imagine sitting next to someone who suddenly handcuffs you to your armrest? Obviously unlikely, but that's the fear they're trying to alleviate.
At the same time, I seem to remember moviegoers showing up with Thor's hammer and Captain America's shield at the premiere of The Avengers. Is there a double standard happening for a movie that has already created so much divisive buzz?
This report comes amid claims that the movie may be watering down some of the steamier moments of the book. Some book fans are worried that between this restriction on audience and an early review that states there is no sex scene for the first 40 minutes, the movie is trying to "defang" the erotic romance to be more conventional. I guess we'll have to wait and see how it goes down this weekend, but just remember to leave your riding crop at home.
What do you think about the ban on BDSM equipment? Are theaters being a bunch of killjoys, or are they just looking out for their audiences?