E.L. James, author of the immensely popular sado-masochism novels including Fifty Shades of Grey, didn’t know what she was getting into when she agreed to take questions on Twitter about her novels. As it turned out, she got the verbal equivalent of the type of punishment her character Anastasia Steele endures at the hands of Christian Grey. The hashtag #AskELJames was quickly hijacked by Twitter users making fun of her much maligned novels and accusing the author of glorifying emotional abuse and misogyny. It started innocently enough, with questions about what she would have changed about the Ana and Christian relationship, but quickly descended into chaos, with people throwing shade at her writing style (“Which do you hate more, women or the English language?” and “Have you ever held a dictionary?”) and some more serious jibes at the depiction of emotional abuse in her novels (“Would you say no to another Twitter Q&A? And if so, does that mean yes?” and “Did you see the abusive relationship of Bella and Edward and think ‘hmm needs more abuse?”). The author did not directly engage any of her Twitter tormentors, concluding the Q&A with “Thank you so much for an interesting hour … :D”. She’s laughing all the way to the bank anyway, counting the estimated $100 million her erotic series has earned her.
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