This might have been too rough for even Christian Grey.
However, critics of the book series took the opportunity to pose the author some very confrontational questions about consent and misogyny and sexual violence.
Many accused the books of condoning abuse, while others found fault with James’ stated desire to explore the motivations of the series anti-hero sadomasochism practitioner, Christian Grey.
Here is just a sampling of the Tweets lobbed during the event.
Sia Releases Steamy New Fifty Shades of Grey Track
Even comedian Ricky Gervais took a moment to point out how blistering the questions had been.
For her part, James answered other questions straightforwardly and seemed to ignore the ones criticizing her.
But hey – her promotional team can definitely say they proved that readers have some very strong feelings about the Fifty Shades books.