FIFTY Shades of Grey has sent temperatures soaring in the god-fearing Western Isles – but for all the wrong reasons.
Following excited reports that the movie would be shown in the main town of Stornoway, the Calvinist Free Church of Scotland urged cinema-goers to stay away.
Confusion now reigns after the venue flatly denied ever confirming that it would screen the movie and insisted that a decision had yet to be taken.
The controversy erupted on Thursday this week when a local media website stated that the An Lanntair arts centre would be screening 50 Shades.
The announcement caused a stir, with locals making jokes about increased sales of duct tape in island stores.
The report was pulled from the website that night and yesterday morning the Free Church, on its Twitter feed, hit out at the movie.
The church tweeted: “#50ShadesofGrey – a hopeless view of sex; glorifies and glamorises sexual violence against women. A sad indictment of contemporary society!”
A source close to the news website was “adamant” that the arts centre had confirmed the showing of the movie.
But bosses at the cinema denied any suggestion they had bowed to pressure to pull the movie.
Kathryn Lamont-Smith, head of marketing at An Lanntair, said reports it was confirmed for the cinema were simply a “mistake”.
She said: “We haven’t decided if we will show it. It depends if it fits in with the programming.”
She admitted: “We’ve had a couple of people ask if we are showing it.
“We didn’t have any backlash or anything like that.”
Rev Iver Martin, minister of Stornoway Free Church, which is part of the Free Church of Scotland, said: “Fifty Shades of Grey is a sad indictment of contemporary society.
“It’s not just that it demonstrates a demeaning view of God’s gift of sex, nor just that it portrays an empty view of sexual relations, but rather that it glorifies and glamorises sexual violence against women.
“Obviously banning something would not work, but we hope that people – whether they are in Stornoway or Stirling – would have enough sense to avoid such a tasteless and degrading movie.”