Fox News host Tucker Carlson reacted to the weekend premiere of the romance film "Fifty Shades of Grey" by calling the erotic movie "creepy as hell" because it was marketed "only for women."
While guest hosting for Sean Hannity on Friday, Carlson spoke to anti-abortion activist Lila Rose, who argued that the film was promoting rape.
"This is a story about domestic abuse," Rose opined. "About the sexual violence and manipulation and domination of a young girl by a man who was abused himself and then went on to become an abuser. And it's glamorized, it's romanticized, and it's sold in a nice suit by a multi-millionaire guy who's going to sweep her off her feet."
"And women are watching this and consuming it, and many people today -- and it's a problem all across our country -- are facing domestic abuse in their own homes," she continued. "We have a crisis of sexual abuse on our universities, on our college campuses. And yet, we're flocking on Valentine's weekend to celebrate the romanticization of abuse. And that's the problem with this film, along with the fact that it promotes depictions of violent pornography."
"I tend to agree with you," Carlson remarked. "I thought it was creepy as hell and stupid. But women loved it... I found it totally unappealing. There's nothing in there I had any interest in, and I mean that."
Clinical psychologist Dr. Victoria Wilson told Carlson that "Fifty Shades of Grey" simply "normalized a very common female sexual fantasy: dominance and submission. And both men and women exhibit that fantasy all the time."
"In terms of women, [the film] actually deprives them of the shame and guilt most women feel when they realize they have that fantasy," she explained. "So in that way, the movie is actually a positive message because it allows women to normalize their feelings."
"Dr. Wilson, women do not want to be dominated," Rose interrupted. "We want to see leadership and we want to see respect. There's a difference between sexual abuse and the domination that comes with it and respectful pursuit of a woman. The problem here is these things are being confused."
"This is not a movie about sexual abuse," Wilson replied. "These are two consenting adults engaging in a fantasy. She can walk away at any time."
"It does raise an interesting question about consent," Carlson noted. "If adult women find this appealing -- I don't get it, and you clearly find that embarrassing, but can we say that they shouldn't find it appealing? I mean, who knows what the heart wants."
"My heart goes out to women all across this county," Rose said. "Because women want to be pursued, they want to be admired, desired. Absolutely. But the way that we're being marketed this by a glitzy Hollywood film, and a multi-million dollar industry, which is making money off of these books and this film is in a sadomasochist violent manipulative way."
According to Rose, an "entire industry" had been built around promoting "violent sex and domination as someone something that women want."
"I mean, the whole cry of the rapist is that women want it, the whole cry of Vanderbilt University or UVA is that, 'Well, she wanted it. She had it coming.' The whole narrative that's being promoted is what we need to stand against."
"Right," Carlson agreed. "And again, I'm with you. I found it unattractive and creepy and inexplicable."
"I don't see this movie any different than 'Basic Instinct' or millions of romance novels," Wilson observed.
"Here's the difference," Carlson said. "This is only for women. Again, no men read the book. It wasn't for men."
"So is 'Nine 1/2 Weeks,'" Wilson replied. "There's been plenty of books and movies out there that have catered to various alternative sexual practices. This movie is no different."
Rose concluded by warning that "young girls are being targeted by this."
"Groups like Planned Parenthood are promoting BDSM and violent sexual practices to teenagers," she said.
"Ew!" Carlson scoffed.
"You can say you're a 40-year-old woman and it's all about your choices, but this is our culture, and we have to protect our young girls and teach respect to men," Rose said.
"I'm still confused as to what women want," Carlson quipped.