Barbican criticised over parent and baby showing of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

Jamie Dornan, who plays Christian Grey in the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey film.

Jamie Dornan, who plays Christian Grey in the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey film. - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Anger has erupted over a cinema’s decision to hold a parent and baby screening of raunchy film Fifty Shades of Grey.

Parenting groups have condemned the Barbican’s decision to open the adaptation of EL James’ erotic romance novel up to parents and infants under 12 months on February 23.

A spokesman for – a parenting support site for single parents – said: “Research shows that babies are affected by a mother’s emotions and can become frightened of loud sounds from as early as in the womb.

“We also know that violent or sexual images can also have a negative impact on a child, especially as they don’t understand the context.

“Obviously the decision rests with each parent, but overall we feel that to put a very young child through this experience just isn’t necessary.”

Laura Evans Vogel from website London-Baby said: “The mum and baby crowd is not the target market for this film.

“I can honestly think of nothing more awkward. I think any mother fortunate enough to actually want to see this film would prefer to leave their infant at home.”

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Cathy Ranson, editor of the UK’s biggest parenting site Netmums, said: “Parent and baby screenings are a great idea to help new mums get out of the house and socialise, but a film on raunchy sex does seem an odd choice for new mums, who’d probably prefer a night’s unbroken sleep to a night with Christan Grey.”

In response, a spokesperson for the Barbican in Silk Street, Finsbury, said: “Parent and baby screenings are very popular among a loyal audience.

“Since the Barbican started these screenings 16 months ago the audience has grown exponentially and we have found that generally they want to be able to see the films that everyone is talking about.

“The interest in the release of Fifty Shades of Grey is huge and the Barbican have recognised that this audience will want to have the opportunity to be able to join in the conversation.

“To make the experience baby-friendly and safe we ensure that both the lighting and sound are kept at a low level.

“We have an ongoing open dialogue with this audience to encourage any suggestions and to allow any concerns to be expressed.”

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