While many have used Banned Books Week to celebrate the freedom to read, others have been raising their own questions. If we are banning books, say these hypothetical people, why not start with Fifty Shades of Grey? Surely of all the books, the controversial “mummy porn” trilogy are the kind of books that deserves being taken off the shelves. Right?

This week at Hypable we have used Banned Books Week to explore the 10 most challenged books of 2011, as well as 10 frequently challenged books that we think you should read anyway. Yet across the internet, people have responded to articles in this vein by asking the same question – “Instead of banning these books, why aren’t we banning Fifty Shades of Grey?”

Banning ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’:

Let’s be clear. Just because Fifty Shades did not make an appearance on the 2011 Banned Books List doesn’t mean it hasn’t faced bans or challenges. Let’s remember it was only published in June 2011. Since then, many libraries across America have pulled the book from their shelves, not to mention that literal book burning. We can safely assume that come next year’s 2012 list, Fifty Shades will be right up there at the top.

And based on the response to our Casual Vacancy parental guide, we imagine J.K. Rowling’s new novel will be there alongside it, particularly as JKR is already the queen of wonderful story telling satanic witchcraft.

But now that we’re talking J.K. Rowling, we are all probably thinking “HOW DARE THEY JOKE ABOUT BANNING MY QUEEN” (or possibly “hmm, that new book could have used less vulvae”). Just think back to all the crazy people who tried to stop us from reading Harry Potter, who took it off school reading lists, out of classrooms, and off the shelves at public libraries.

They told us we were worshipping a pagan god, and society would be destroyed, and we were all converting to wicca. All because we crazy fans apparently thought the Harry Potter series was an instruction manual subtitled ‘Satanic Worshipping for Dummies.’

So let’s ponder that. If people are allowed to read Fifty Shades of Grey, what exactly do we think will happen? Maybe we will all turn into S&M fanatics, or start using non-disclosure agreements in our love life, or THE WORLD WILL END (it is 2012, after all).

Or maybe, some people will get to read a book they enjoy.

If you’d think “good riddance” if Fifty Shades (or The Casual Vacancy) was taken off the shelves of your local library, that’s totally fine. But if you want to be able to walk into that same library and borrow Harry Potter, To Kill a Mockingbird or Looking for Alaska, then you have to be okay with walking past Fifty Shades of Grey to get there.

And if the thought of that makes you too uncomfortable, then you have to accept that by restricting someone else’s reading, you are setting the precedent which may result in your favourite book being taken off the shelf.

Everyone deserves the opportunity to read the books they love. When books are taken out of public libraries, use is inherently restricted from people who may not be able to afford their own copy, let alone a Kindle and the e-Book version.

If you’re a parent, by all means monitor what your child is reading, as you might do for a film they want to watch or a video game they want to buy. But don’t stop someone else’s child from reading something that their parent has determined to be appropriate for them.

Here at Hypable, we have some simple advice. If you don’t like a book, don’t read it.

Maybe you think Fifty Shades of Grey is complete and utter crap, and you wouldn’t even open the front cover unless someone paid you an obscene amount of money, and then promised to wipe it from your mind with the Men in Black Neuralyzer.

Or perhaps you have read Fifty Shades, just for a laugh. Maybe you thought it was the next great love story, or read it with the Twilight soundtrack playing in the background. You may have read it as a unique framing device for a story about maturity, both emotionally and sexually. Maybe you like “mummy porn.” Maybe you just wanted to.

The beauty is, you shouldn’t have to explain your choice to anyone. But you should have a choice. And if you do, that’s all that matters.

Other Hypable articles that celebrate Banned Book week

How do you feel about banning ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’?

After all that talk of inclusivity, Star Trek Beyond falls into the Hollywood trap of implied sexuality.

Mild spoilers for Star Trek Beyond.

Star Trek Beyond, already a wildly anticipated movie, made headlines ahead of its release because of the franchise’s decision to introduce the first openly LGBT character: Mr Sulu, played by John Cho.

While this decision was certainly met with excitement, there was disappointment, too. The original Mr Sulu, George Takei, openly voiced his opinion that they should have introduced a new LGBT character rather than expand on original canon (as they have been the whole trilogy), while Simon Pegg beautifully argued that there was power in using an established character who wouldn’t be defined by his sexuality.

Then came the movie itself, and while the introduction of gay Sulu is still a great thing, we’re left sorely disappointed by Beyond‘s decision to depict the LGBT relationship — or rather, hardly depict it at all.

As reported by our friends at The Mary Sue, the scene featuring Sulu and his husband Ben depicts a “lukewarm” relationship, although Sulu is very affectionate with the pair’s daughter.

This is, unfortunately, a common problem in Hollywood when an LGBT couple — almost impossibly — makes it into a big franchise film. They’re allowed to be there, but having any kind of physical interaction even remotely resembling what a heterosexual couple might have still seems to be off-limits.

Related: Hollywood is failing the LGBT community: GLAAD slams Disney, Paramount and Warner Bros.

And, according to John Cho, there was actually a kiss filmed. “There was a kiss that I think is not there anymore,” he told Collider. “It wasn’t like a make-out session. We’re at the airport with our daughter. It was a welcome-home kiss. I’m actually proud of that scene, because it was pretty tough.”

Cho points out that Ben was played by a non-actor, writer Doug Jung, and says, “Obviously, I just met the kid, and then Doug is not an actor. I just wanted that to look convincingly intimate. We’re two straight guys and had to get to a very loving, intimate place. It was hard to do on the fly. We had to open up. It came off well, in my view.”

And we wish we could have seen it. Introducing a major LGBT character in the Star Trek franchise is a fantastic first step, and depicting two POC actors raising a child together is a great statement — but, unfortunately, the decision to cut out their kiss (which was already chaste, by the sounds of it) is emblematic of Hollywood’s continuous phobia of depicting LGBT relationships and intimacy on the big screen.

As Screen Crush also points out, this exact same scenario played out in Independence Day: Resurgence, too. In Finding Dory, the lesbian couple are only implied, in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it sequence.

LGBT representation (when present at all) is always so subtle, evidently in fear of offending straight audiences while not totally erasing non-straight sexualities. And, sadly, even that is considered a big step forward — but maybe it’s time we start depicting humanity as it is, and not what society wished it was 100 years ago.

Here’s looking at you, Star Wars.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child reviews from theater critics are glowing, so when the hell can Americans get a chance to see the play in New York?

With just days to go until The Cursed Child script book is released around the world, The New York Post’s theater reporter has spoken to sources who say the play will be coming to Broadway sooner rather than later. Producers are currently holding discussions to bring the play to NY as early as 2017.

They haven’t yet announced a Broadway engagement for “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” but New York theater people say it’s only a matter of time. Word is that Friedman and Callender are in negotiations for a Shubert theater possibly for next season. They may hit Toronto first, however.

The idea of The Cursed Child hitting Broadway so soon (“next season” could mean around May 2017) will come as a relief to American Harry Potter fans who would rather not travel overseas to see “the eighth story” (though it’s a little more affordable to do so right now thanks to #Brexit). It also speaks to this important fact: It’s important to see The Cursed Child rather than reading it.

If the show does go to Toronto first as The New York Post suggests it might, a trip to Canada would also be easier for Americans. Sorry, people who don’t live in North America.

This writer saw the play in June and absolutely loved the characters and magic happening on stage. But the story is… not the best. I’m very eager to see what fans, myself included, think of the story after reading the script book this weekend.

For her part, Rowling has promised that fans around the world will get to see the play. Only time will tell if she’s hinting at a movie or a world tour:

If ‘Cursed Child’ comes to Broadway next year, will you try to see it ASAP?

The West End production currently has dates running into May 2017, but additional dates are expected to go on sale in early August.

Present day Han Solo may’ve left the main Star Wars series after the events of The Force Awakens, but the character’s time in movie theaters is far from over.

The new Han Solo film from Lucasfilm — scheduled to hit theaters in May 2018 — might turn into a trilogy for the reluctant hero, according to the New York Daily News.

The paper reports that star Alden Ehrenreich has signed a three-picture deal, suggesting that the studio intends to expand the Han Solo spinoff into a trilogy. “They feel that his character has the right potential to become a central figure in several movies,” a source told NY Daily News. “They’re keeping things under wraps at the moment, but the deal is that he has signed for at least three movies.”

This makes a lot of sense given the popularity of the character coupled with his absence in Episode 8 and beyond. We also know that Lucasfilm and Disney have many, many grand plans for Star Wars in the years ahead: The very first Star Wars theatrical spinoff, Rogue One, opens later this year. Episode 8 then hits theaters a year later (2017), followed by Han Solo’s own movie (2018). Next comes Episode 9 in 2019, followed by yet another spinoff reportedly focused on Boba Fett in 2020.

As for 2021 and beyond? Only time will tell, but we expect more movies set in the worlds of The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and now Han Solo.

The Han Solo spinoff will be directed by LEGO Movie helmers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. They’re currently deep into pre-production, as this tweet from Lord this morning shows:

“This is the first film we’ve worked on that seems like a good idea to begin with,” the directors said last July. “We promise to take risks, to give the audience a fresh experience, and we pledge ourselves to be faithful stewards of these characters who mean so much to us. This is a dream come true for us. And not the kind of dream where you’re late for work and all your clothes are made of pudding, but the kind of dream where you get to make a film with some of the greatest characters ever, in a film franchise you’ve loved since before you can remember having dreams at all.”