By T. Mack
If E L James’ Fifty Shades of Grey is anything, it is polarizing. People generally have either complete apathy or very strong feelings for it. Of the ones who have feel strongly, the divide is wide between those who love it and those who loathe it. Each has reasons for being on their particular side of the divide. And since the Sister Geeks community is a safe space, we all choose to respect differing opinions and accept all geeks with love and affection. Unfortunately for Ms. James, the same cannot be said about the Twitter-verse.
James is currently in the midst of promoting her latest book, Grey, which tells the story of Fifty Shades of Grey from Christian’s perspective. On Monday, James took to Twitter for a Q&A with fans. As often happens, it quickly got out of hand. While some fans did utilize #AskELJames to engage with the author, there were also many, many non-fans who used it to pose sarcastic questions that criticized her grammar, prose and themes as well as her Stephanie Meyer inspiration and the homophobia that some feel is blatant in the book. As Guardian and EW reported, James was asked questions such as:
“Did you get paid per adjective?”
“Are you as homophobic in real life as your books are? Asking for a friend.”
“Did you see the abusive relationship of Bella and Edward and think ‘hmm needs more abuse.'”
“50 Shades takes place in 2011 but Anastasia, a journalism student, is mystified by the concept of BASIC EMAIL?”
“Will there be a delay to our answers while you wait for Stephanie Meyer to answer them first, so you know what to write?
Some fans of the author did attempt to come to her defense, but a format such as Twitter Q&A’s unfortunately lends itself to scenarios such as this. James is not the first celebrity to have this kind of situation happen. She will likely not be the last.
I have a feeling James isn’t too worried about it, though. I doubt she’s staying up late at night concerned that a few tweeters don’t like her work. Why? Because despite the strength of shade thrown her way and the plethora of horrible reviews for her old and latest works, Grey is setting records and quickly becoming the fastest-selling adult book in history. With more than a million copies sold in the US and nearly as many in the UK in less than a week, James doesn’t really need Twitter’s approval. Not when so many of her fans put their money where their hearts are. And boy, do they have love for E L James and Christian Grey.
What side do you come down on? Do you adore or abhor Fifty Shades and its story? Do you think Christian Grey is a true romantic? Or do you believe he’s an abusive bastard? Do you have your copy of Grey yet?Sound off in the comments.