NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 18: Author E.L. James promotes her new book, "Grey" at E.L. James: Grey Book Event at Barnes & Noble, 5th Avenue on June 18, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
Yesterday Fifty Shades of Grey author EL James got trending on Twitter. But not in a remotely good way.
The best-selling author of the erotic franchise which depicts the relationship between a naive college graduate and billionaire businessman, decided to use Twitter to talk to her fans, with questions invited via the use of #AskELJames. So far, so simple. You would think that.
However, because Twitter is a smorgasbord of differing opinion and simmering pot of online outrage, some people who find James? writing not up to scratch and her depiction of a BDSM romantic relationship abusive, decided to flood the hashtag with critical tweets.
Here are just some of the shots fired:
Which do you hate more, women or the English language? #AskELJames
? Ian Robinson (@eyeswideshut75) June 29, 2015
Today E. L. James learned the valuable lesson that “A lot of people bought my work” is not the same as “Everyone likes me” #AskELJames
? Dean Burnett (@garwboy) June 29, 2015
Are you going to answer any of these questions, or do you need Stephenie Meyer to do a Twitter chat first? #AskELJames
? Beth Thorne (@bethorne) June 29, 2015
Some people did come out in defense of the author and slammed the onslaught of tweets.
Yes, agree. Hideous Twitter vitriol – astonishingly poisonous & unnecessary. https://twitter.com/mattlibrarian/status/615553535141376000
? Sam Missingham (@samatlounge) June 29, 2015
Anne Rice, the author of Interview with a Vampire, posted about the incident on her Facebook:
? Michelle (@fsog_greysessed) June 30, 2015
While the entire PR exercise is a disaster, there was one question left unanswered that has genuinely niggled at us since we read the books.
How on earth did Ana manage to graduate from university in the 21st century without an email address or a laptop? #AskELJames
? Marianne Hassle (@tinyorc) June 29, 2015
Answers on the back of a telegram please. No emails.
We suspect EL James is having the last laugh, despite the universal panning of her literary output. Not only was the movie adaptation of her first novel a box office success, amassing over $500 million worldwide, but her latest book, Grey, the first in a trilogy told from ‘romantic’ hero Christian Grey’s point of view, smashed book sales records. In the UK it sold 647,401 copies in three days. All of her books in Ireland have accumulated sales of nearly half a million, The Journal reports.
What are your thoughts on the #AskELJames fiasco? Was it outright bullying? Or a justified feminist berating?