The author of “Fifty Shades of Grey” and other Twitter users had strong words for a former congressman who compared Donald Trump’s comments on women to the bestselling erotica novel.
Joe Walsh, a conservative radio host who served one term in the House of Representatives, tweeted: “If women are so outraged by Trump’s dirty talk, then who the hell bought the 80 million copies of ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey?’ Grow up.”
Walsh seemed to be referring to a tape uncovered last week by the Washington Post, in which Trump brags about kissing and groping women without their consent.
The tape features a conversation between Trump and Billy Bush, who was the host of “Access Hollywood” at the time. The two were en route to a 2005 taping of the soap opera “Days of Our Lives,” where Trump was filming a cameo role.
“You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait,” Trump tells Bush. “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.” He then makes a reference to grabbing women’s genitals, using an obscene word.
E.L. James, the author of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” fired back at Walsh on Sunday. James’ novel is an erotic tale of a BDSM relationship between wealthy Christian Grey and the naive Anastasia Steele. But James made clear that she saw no connection between her book and Trump’s statement. The word Trump used to describe women’s genitals “does not appear” in her book, she tweeted adding, “And it’s fiction. You know. FICTION. #LearnTheDifference and #GrowUp”.
Other Twitter users were quick to condemn Walsh, an Illinois Republican. Author Joanne Harris responded to Walsh: “One word. Consent. Look it up if you’re not sure.”
A user with the screen name “Savage Werewombat” tweeted at Walsh: “Yeah! And if people don’t want to be horribly murdered, who the hell bought all those Stephen King books?”
Novelist Jennifer Weiner didn’t respond directly to Walsh, but tweeted: “Trump supporters invoking ‘Fifty Shades of [Grey]’: women fantasize about rough treatment from rich men! No. FSOG’s hot billionaire who treats woman like a sex doll ends up falling in love.That’s the fantasy. Not being grabbed by the [genitals].”
Walsh’s argument was echoed by actor Scott Baio, a conservative who has appeared on talk shows sharing his support for Trump. Baio, best known for his role on the sitcom “Happy Days,” tweeted about “Fifty Shades of Grey,” “Written by a woman,4 women.Let me guess all 80Mill readers were not liberals? How many went 2 see the assault movie?”
Walsh didn’t respond to any of his critics on Twitter, but he seems to be sticking by his post. In tweets following the “Fifty Shades” post, though, he did allow that Trump’s comments about women were “indefensible” and that Trump is “a pig to women.”