"50 Shades Of Grey" star Dakota Johnson and her mother, actress Melanie Griffith, had a bit of a public spat on the Oscars red carpet Sunday, when Johnson snapped at Griffith after she said she still hasn't seen her daughter's leading role in the BDSM box office hit. While Johnson has since poked fun at the awkward moment, social media users haven't been quite as lighthearted about the mother-daughter scuffle.
— R. Vincent Harris (@RVincentHarris) February 25, 2015
— Mary (@Dylanesque2604) February 25, 2015
— William Bundy (@zombiegod5) February 25, 2015
Deborah Carr, a Rutgers University sociology professor who specializes in family relationships, weighed in on the situation in a HuffPost Live conversation on Wednesday.
"One thing that jumped out of the tweets to me is just blatant ageism and actually the intersection between ageism and sexism," she said. "And the assumption is that as a women -- i.e. Melanie -- ages, she will be jealous and disdainful of any young woman, even her daughter who is assuming a role of a sexual being in the way that Melanie once was."
Author Joyce McFadden agreed and said sexism played a huge role in the intense response.
"I don't see men getting torn apart like that in social media, the way that women get torn apart," McFadden said.
As host Ricky Camilleri pointed out during the discussion, the "50 Shades" star's father Don Johnson told HuffPost Live in May that he, like Griffith, wasn't interested in the plot of the BDSM novel-turned-film, and he received little backlash.
McFadden said it was "completely appropriate" for Griffith not to want to see her daughter in the sexual film, just as it would be "uncomfortable" for Johnson, if the roles were reversed. Since the mother-daughter relationship is not a sexual one, relating to one another on that level would seem inappropriate, she said.
Overall, the moment was a "no-win situation," McFadden ultimately decided.
"If Melanie Griffith had said she was excited to see her daughter in that movie, [Twitter] would be tearing her apart for that," she said.
Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation about mother-daughter relationships here.
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