Ellen’s Dramatic Reading of ’50 Shades of Grey’ Does Not Go Exactly As Planned
Ellen DeGeneres takes on the ’50 Shades of Grey’ phenomenon!
Full disclosure: I have not read 50 Shades of Grey. I don’t really feel compelled to, so it’s unlikely that I ever will. However, it’s sort of impossible to work within the pop culture industry and NOT learn all about these types of phenomena, so somehow, I seem to have picked up most of the salient points by osmosis. Go figure.
Anyway, for those of you who might still be unfamiliar with it, 50 Shades of Grey is an erotic novel notable for a couple of reasons: 1) Its depiction of BDSM and 2) Its origins as a piece of Twilight fan fiction. 50 Shades of Grey began as a shorter piece called Master of the Universe (this just makes me think, “BY THE POWER OF GREYSKULL!”, but that’s probably because I grew up in the ‘80s); featuring Edward and Bella as its main characters, the story first appeared on a Twilight fan fiction site, but was removed by its author, “Snowqueens Icedragon,” after receiving negative comments about the tale’s sexual nature. It was then that Snowqueens Icedragon began rewriting the story with original characters, eventually leading to the creation of 50 Shades of Grey. It seems to appeal mostly to the female, over thirty, and married demographic; subsequently, the book has earned the description “mommy porn.”
But let’s get back to the BDSM thing for a moment. I can’t speak to the worth of the writing—I’ve heard that generally it’s pretty bad, but since I haven’t read it, I can’t pass judgment on it myself—but what it HAS done is bring discussions of sexual politics to the fore in the same way that Twilight has brought up issues of abusive relationships.
Naturally, then, it would fall to Ellen DeGeneres to start poking fun at it. Because she’s Ellen, and that’s what she does. On The Ellen Show yesterday, Ellen attempted to record an audio book of 50 Shades of Grey, and, well… let’s just say that it didn’t go quite as planned:
You know what I appreciate most about these pop culture send-ups of Ellen’s? The fact they help us maintain a healthy sense of the ridiculous. For all of the heated conversations 50 Shades of Grey might start, at bottom, it’s just a story that some people love and some people hate. It’s hard to stay angry about anything when there’s a paddle ball present. Am I right?
Ellen? Keep on keepin’ on, because you’re awesome!
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’as associate editor.