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Monday, October 1, 2012

Say it ain't so, Tyler Perry

Matthew Fox in "Alex Cross"
So. Mike and I are in the movie theatre getting ready to see "The Bourne Legacy" when they show a movie trailer that I can hardly watch. It's for the film "Alex Cross," starring Tyler Perry and Matthew Fox.

More than once in the trailer, we're subjected to seeing the image of a woman who obviously cannot move. She's lying in a bed, looking terrified. A tear runs out of her eye. A scary man looms above her. He says "I'm fascinated... by pain."

I apologize for putting this image into your head. I do it only to register a complaint, which I hope will be repeated throughout the land all the way to Hollywood.

Hollywood, stop making movies that feature the torture of women.

I know that "torture porn" is a thing nowadays. I guess the "Saw" franchise is full of it. Shudder. Who would go to see this crap? And how hardened to violence against women must viewers become after watching it? And now I hear that readership is bringing a million bucks a week (or is it a day?) to the author of Fifty Shades of Grey, which features consensual sadomasochism as part of sex. In the novel, it's okay for the man to hit the woman because he has offered her a "contract" for the behavior.

I had lunch today with a friend who has permanent mental health issues because she grew up in a house of horrors. When she was a kid, every night while she lay in bed upstairs, she could hear her parents fighting. It always ended the same way. Every night, she could hear her dad beat up her mom.

My friend was angry today when we talked about Fifty Shades of Grey. "Why do people think it's sexy for a man to beat up a woman?" she asked.

I heard a chilling radio spot about a month ago on my morning station. Dave and Carole of WKLH in Milwaukee were reading a report about a woman who got beat up by her man. His defense? "We had a contract."

I'm here to say that it's not okay to hit your partner, whether you're a woman or a man. I'm asking Hollywood to stop featuring violence as a sort of prurient sport. I dread the day, coming soon, when the movie version of Fifty Shades comes out. What damage will that wreak?

Tyler Perry, I thought you wanted to create movies to make the world a better place. Shame on you for being part of "Alex Cross." With all those films you made that have titles starting with your own name, you must have power. You don't need the cash. Go back to being Medea. And don't you dare be in "Fifty Shades."

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