Anti-Bullying Documentary "Bully" Receives R Rating, Weinstein Company Appealing 


The MPAA has given The Weinstein Company's (TWC) new anti-bullying documentary "Bully" an R rating, so the studio is fighting back, at least, for a PG-13 rating. According to their press release, "Bully" is an urgent and intimate look at Americas bullying crisis. Directed by Lee Hirsch, the R rating was given to "Bully" because of its strong language and therefore, it restricts children under the age of 17 from seeing the film unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.

So, the kids, who MUST really see the documentary are not even allowed to do so unless their parent or guardian are present. Isn't this a case of the MPAA bullying "Bully?"

Why? Because as a result of the MPAA rating, the film could not even be screened in U.S. middle and high schools "where it might otherwise reach a mass national audience of students and be used as a tool to stop an epidemic of physical, psychological, and emotional violence."

Harvey Weinstein, TWC Co-Chairman, is appealing the MPAA rating and will be joined by Alex Libby, one of the bullied children documented in "Bully." Their hearing will be held this Thursday, Feb. 23rd, at the MPAA's Sherman Oaks screening room.

This is a good cause, and the MPAA should be able to allow "Bully" with a lesser rating. It's a documentary! And when your subject is about bullying, it goes without saying that harsh language would be present.

According to Hirsch, "I made BULLY for kids to see the bullies as well as the bullied. We have to change hearts and minds in order to stop this epidemic, which has scarred countless lives and driven many children to suicide. To capture the stark reality of bullying, we had to capture the way kids act and speak in their everyday lives and the fact is that kids use profanity. It is heartbreaking that the MPAA, in adhering to a strict limit on certain words, would end up keeping this film from those who need to see it most. No one could make this case more powerfully than Alex Libby, and I am so proud and honored that he is stepping forward to make a personal appeal."

Weinstein concurred, "I have great respect for the work Chairman Joan Graves and the rest of the MPAA governing body do. I have been compelled by the filmmakers and the children to fight for an exception so we can change this R rating brought on by some bad language. As a father of four, I worry every day about bullying; it'ss a serious and ever-present concern for me and my family. I want every child, parent, and educator in America to see BULLY, so it is imperative for us to gain a PG-13 rating. It's better that children see bad language than bad behavior, so my wish is that the MPAA considers the importance of this matter as we make this appeal."

We'll give you an update on this. "Bully" is set for release on March 30th. For now, check out the film's trailer:



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