Did 9/11 Lead to the Creation of 'Fifty Shades of Grey'?

4 min read
fairly easy
Random historical domino effects are often absurd, but also good for making viral content.
A viral theory that came and went since 2020 and made yet another comeback in 2021 connects — wait for it — the 9/11 terrorist attacks to the creation of the "Fifty Shades of Grey" series.

A TikTok user summarized the phenomenon: It begins with Gerard Way, who created the band My Chemical Romance after witnessing the attacks on 9/11. That band's music then inspired Stephanie Meyers, who wrote the "Twilight" books series that in turn inspired E.L. James, author of the "Fifty Shades" trilogy.

In 2020, a viral Reddit post made a similar claim:

Here's the domino effect: Gerard Way witnessed 9/11 while in NYC He created My Chemical Romance (which became his therapy for the PTSD of witnessing 9/11) Stephanie Meyer used MCR's music to inspire her as she wrote her books that became Twilight E. L. James wrote a Twilight fanfic and got it published as the book we all know 50 Shades of Grey

Let's start at the beginning. Gerard Way, singer for My Chemical Romance, was indeed in New York City, working as an intern, on Sept. 11, 2001. In a 2005 interview with Spin Magazine, he described how the day of the tragedy, while coming into Manhattan, he had an epiphany of sorts:

Like many life changing stories of the 21st century, it all began on September 11, 2001. On that clear-blue-sky day, Way, who had graduated from New York's School of Visual Arts to a sunlight-free existence drawing in his mom's basement, was coming into Manhattan, unaware of the tragedy. "Something just clicked in my head that morning," he says. "I literally said to myself, 'Fuck art. I've gotta get out of the basement. I've gotta see the world. I've gotta make a difference!'"

In an interview with Newsweek in 2019, Way said:

One of the biggest reasons I started…
Snopes, Nur Ibrahim
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