Thursday, April 5, 2012

MPAA Changes 'Bully' Rating To PG-13

It was announced today that the MPAA has changed the R rating for the documentary Bully, to a PG-13.  This is incredible news for not only The Weinstein Company and the films director Lee Hirsch, but for school systems that are looking to screen this movie for students.

"While I retain my belief that PG-13 has always been the appropriate rating for this film, as reinforced by Canada's rating of a PG, we have today scored a victory from the MPAA," Lee said in a press release. 

In order to get the PG-13 rating, some edits were made to the movie.  According to Hirsch, he was still able to keep three uses of the F word, instead of the normal allowance of only one.  This includes a scene, that he calls "crucial" where a young boy is bullied on a school bus.

The Weinstein Company goes on to say,

This decision by the MPAA is a huge victory for the parents, educators, lawmakers, and most importantly, children, everywhere who have been fighting for months for the appropriate PG-13 rating without cutting some of the most sensitive moments. Three uses of the 'F word' were removed from other scenes, which ultimately persuaded the MPAA to lower the rating. Hirsch made the documentary with the intent to give an uncensored, real-life portrayal of what 13 million children suffer through every year. 

The past couple of weeks has provided the MPAA some of the worst publicity they have received in recent memory.  In a world where news spreads in just seconds via social media, they have been hit on every front because of the R rating they initially gave Bully.  Cries of "foul", and a call to finally overhaul the ratings system are now a hot topic, minus religious groups who believe the F word will bring about armageddon.  This ratings change will only reinforce the thought that it's time for a change.

In the newest issue of Entertainment Weekly, Mark Harris has written an article called 5 Ways to Fix Movie Ratings.  In this article, he does touch on the fact that the MPAA and CARA (Classification & Ratings Administration) are perhaps letting their ideologies determine what's best for everyone.  His suggestions for change, including 'Focus on Content Adviseries, Not Ratings' and 'End R Ratings For The Use Of One Word', are ones that we could definitely get behind.  Make sure to pick up this weeks EW to read the full article.

With this new PG-13 rating for Bully, expect to see the movie begin rolling out to more theatres by next week.  With three uses of the F word, expect totally anarchy the following week.

What say you?

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Source: Entertainment Weekly

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