I dislike 50 Shades... as others mentioned it's a BDSM twilight fanfiction written by someone with no experience of BDSM (and bad writing) and its success is pretty much entirely the result of luck, marketing and being the first semi-erotic novel to go over the parapet at a time when Kindles meant that one can read it without the fear of public shaming.
(Which may be a reason the film struggles; you can't exactly hide what film you're watching)
But despite being a pretty active in the BDSM scene and one of its strongest defenders (just see my posts on E) I can't find myself too bothered by it. Yes, we all know it's not a healthy or realistic portrayal of a BDSM relationship... but if anything the interest it generated actually helped keep the BDSM scene healthy because people couldn't swing a cat (or more perhaps more aptly, spank a bottom) online during a discussion of it without having how unhealthy and unrealistic it was pointed out. And at the end of the day it's a romance novels. Romance novels basically live and die by romanticizing their subject matter as much as possible; Twilight (remember, the basis for 50 Shades) is as perfect an example of that as any.
And lets be clear, a realistic portrayal of a BDSM relationship isn't actually that sexy or exciting. Sure, the actual BDSM may be, but before and after? The build-up to real life BDSM play doesn't include eyes burning with lust, long, lingering glances, slow seductive hands running across bodies and the two participants suddenly being so overwhelmed with passion that they leap at each other... at least for me. For me it tends to include a cup of tea, a couple of biscuits and long chats about what we're going to do in a distinctly unsexy way. Now, sure, talking about what's going to happen can be pretty erotic and an excellent type of foreplay in it's own right but it can also involve long discussions about exactly what type of rope we're going to use and what knots we're going to tie in it. And the aftermath frequently features another cup of tea, yet more biscuits and a fairly boring discussion about what we liked and didn't like about it. Then factor in that if the play is with someone new to BDSM it will likely also involve a safeword being said, everything stopping and yet more tea + biscuits as one discusses what someone didn't like, why they didn't like it and if it's something they'd ever contemplate doing again or if it's a hard no before the scene may or may not continue.
50 Shades is a romanticised version of (actually somewhat mild) BDSM (with some stalking behavior thrown in for good measure). I'm pretty sure I can go through the NC and EX forums here and see even more unhealthy BDSM relationships portrayed and explained in an equally romantacised form. Hell, the entire concept of NC is basically the romantacisation taken to the extreme... while many people enjoy the fantasy of being taken without consent (it's supposedly one of the most popular amongst women) I struggle to think there's many, if any, who would enjoy the exceptionally nasty reality of it. One can of course point out that stories on E are only semi-public and not a wordwide best seller... but if one moves beyond these guarded borders to the public internet one can find equally romantacised tales, be it on Literotica, BDSMLibrary, MCStories or one any number of other places. Do we condemn all such authors as well for what they've written? After all the only real difference there is that the content in such stories is often far worse, those authors decided to publish on those websites rather than their own and they never approached a small publisher to distribute it for them.
Such thoughts also touch on my response to EL James not responding to abuse victims. On the face of it it's horrible... but what would happen if any of us who write EX or NC stories here got a PM from someone who had survived abuse and explaining all the issues they had with the post? And what if it wasn't one but dozens. A day. I like to think that we'd be receptive and patient with the first message but at what point would we just throw up our hands and say "no more"? How many times would we explain that what we write is a fantasy, not a reality and thus it's not intended or expected to be a realistic portrayal? And it is extremely difficult to protect oneself entirely from seeing such things, even on E. Yes, one can minimise the EX and NC boards so they don't appear... but that doesn't protect against reading an O&O thread that discusses them or an RP request that mentions them or threads containing such content being linked too from elsewhere.