The Deep South Has The Biggest Fifty Shades Fans, But Also Its Biggest Critics

The film adaptation of E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey hit theaters today, and while it has certainly been a nationwide topic of conversation, it might be causing particular consternation in the South. The often-conservative region is home to the most vocal critics of the movie — and yet the movie is selling out in theaters from Charleston to New Orleans. On one hand, Southerners LOVE this movie. The film has been hyping its BDSM sex scenes (and sexy stars) for months, and it has the South in a tizzy: The top ticket sales in the nation were in Mississippi, followed by Arkansas, West Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama and Louisiana, according to The Washington Post. (No, seriously. They even made a chart.)  On the other hand, the South is also home to the American Family Association — one of the most strident critics of Fifty Shades. The president of the Tupelo, Miss.-based group has called the movie "50 Shades of Evil," and urged a boycott (which, clearly, isn't working). Now, the AFA is not a mainstream conservative organization. One of their long-time (and recently ousted) spokesmen, Bryan Fischer, likes to reference the 'gay gestapo' when he speaking about same-sex marriage, and he believes the First Amendment only applied to Christians.  As Rachel Maddow pointed out on her show Thursday night about the film's opening night in Tupelo, "the first three shows of Fifty Shades of Grey are completely sold out." Looks like the American Family Association will have to try a little harder to staunch all the evil sex-having happening in its own backyard.

More from Politics

R29 Original Series