The sole purpose of Bully is “educating children and highlighting
how bullying has become a national crisis.” - The Weinstein Company
UPDATE: The filmmaker and studio behind documentary "Bully" on Thursday won their battle to have the movie's rating lowered, allowing kids as young as 13 years-old to see it. (Reuters)
The overly-sensitive motion picture ratings team at the MPAA has once again shown how out of touch it is with the values of America. Last week, the Weinstein Company lost an appeal to have the MPAA rating of its upcoming educational documentary Bully changed from R to PG-13 due to "some language" in the film. The documentary centers around the prevalence of bullying in America, and an "R" rating all but ensures it will not reach the adolescent audience it is meant to educate. Schools can't take field trips to the movie theater or even show it in class.
Because the film was originally rated "R," it needed a two-thirds vote by the MPAA appeals board to reverse the rating. The appeal lost by one vote. Thus, an educational documentary aimed at saving lives and raising awareness to an extremely relevant issue affecting young kids everywhere faces this tremendous roadblock due to "some language" and one missing vote. A collective "WTF" is appropriate.
Now, there is talk that theaters would be forced to treat the film as if it had an NC-17 rating, which would literally prevent people under the age of 18 from seeing it at the theater regardless of whether or not they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. The Weinstein Company has considered boycotting the MPAA's rating by releasing the documentary unrated, which is apparently equivalent to an NC-17 rating in some theater owners' minds.
Whatever ultimately happens with this film, the MPAA's overzealous and conservative ratings system needs to be noted and discussed around dinner tables and classrooms. Please watch the trailer below and sign the petition to reverse the MPAA's thoughtless decision.
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