Thursday, February 23, 2012

MPAA Hands 'Bully' An "R" Rating, Weinstein Considers MPAA "Leave Of Absence"

Please, watch this trailer before continuing on...

The Weinstein Company and director Lee Hirsch have something incredible on their hands.  Maybe even something that could make a difference.  Bully will open many eyes, cause controversy, and hopefully get parents and their kids talking about this.  Maybe even get kids talking to each other about it.

The intention was to screen this movie at schools as a tool to help combat bullying.  The Cincinnati School District had even agreed to bus 40,000 students to screenings of this movie because they feel it is that important.

Sadly, due to the outdated M.P.A.A., this may never happen.  Due to the language used in the movie it has received an "R" rating.  The group that says they are there to help parents make the right choices are making a choice that is not right for parents.

Some of you may be thinking, "Well, I'm glad they're letting me know that this language isn't appropriate for my child to hear."  First off, they've heard it already and you're in denial.  Second, let us take a look at some recent movies that the M.P.A.A. said were appropriate for kids under 17.

The Vow - Rated PG-13 - Sexual content, partial nudity, some language and an accident scene
This Means War - Rated PG-13 - Some Sexual Content
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance - Rated PG-13 - Intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images and language
Chronicle - Rated PG-13 - Some Language, Sexual Content, Intense Action and Violence, Teen Drinking and Thematic Material

The M.P.A.A. decided that all of those things are perfectly fine for kids between the ages of 13-17.  However, use of the word "fuck" too many times in a real world environment where kids are being bullied is just too much to for your kids to take.

While the "R" rating had already been handed over, today Weinstein and one of the children shown bullied in the movie, went to the ratings board to appeal.

It was ineffective and the "R" rating still stands should The Weinstein Company decide to release the movie with a rating.

Due to today's decision, Harvey Weinstein said in a statement:

As of today, The Weinstein Company is considering a leave of absence from the MPAA for the foreseeable future. We
respect the MPAA and their process but feel this time it has just been a bridge too far.

I have been through many of these appeals, but this one vote loss is a huge blow to me personally. Alex Libby gave an
impassioned plea and eloquently defended the need for kids to be able to see this movie on their own, not with their
parents, because that is the only way to truly make a change.

This decision just doesn't make any sense.  Look at the list above!  Why they draw the line at it being okay for kids to see Hell Rider piss fire and it's not okay for them to hear "fuck" more than twice in a movie is beyond me.

I could go on and on about how out dated, out of touch and inconsistent the current system of the M.P.A.A. is, but I'm not going to.  I DO encourage you to see the documentary This Film Is Not Yet Rated to see it for yourself.

Is there a need for the ratings board?  Yes.  But today's decision should show everyone how it's time for a change in how they perceive what's appropriate based on the material at hand.

For more information on Bully, please visit the movies official site:

What say you?

POPped by
Jungle Jesse

The M.P.A.A. has issued a statement regarding today's ruling:

“Bullying is a serious issue and is a subject that parents should discuss with their children. The MPAA agrees with the Weinstein Company that Bully can serve as a vehicle for such important discussions.
The MPAA also has the responsibility, however, to acknowledge and represent the strong feedback from parents throughout the country who want to be informed about content in movies, including language.
The rating and rating descriptor of ‘some language,’ indicate to parents that this movie contains certain language. With that, some parents may choose to take their kids to this movie and others may not, but it is their choice and not ours to make for them. The R rating is not a judgment on the value of any movie. The rating simply conveys to parents that a film has elements strong enough to require careful consideration before allowing their children to view it. Once advised, many parents may take their kids to see an R-rated film. School districts, similarly, handle the determination of showing movies on a case-by-case basis and have their own guidelines for parental approval.”



  1. They could just take the F-word out.

    1. I'd argue that taking the F-word out would lessen the impact of a movie that's supposed to be shining the light on what really happens at schools. I usually argue that swearing doesn't add anything to a project... but in this point, removing it would definitely hurt the intent of the documentary.