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Bully Documentary Gets PG-13 rating

Movie Producer Harvey Weinstein announced Friday, April 6th that the Motion Picture Association of America has agreed to grant the movie Bully a PG-13 rating.

Bully takes a hard and honest look at the epidemic of bullying.

The documentary tracks five families over the course of a school year, including the family of Ty Field

Field would have turned 14 this June.  But on an afternoon in May 2010 Field went home and shot himself.  He was in 6th grade.  His parents say he had been repeatedly picked on at school, pushed down and bullied.

The film’s distributors intended to have Bully screened in middle and high schools where it could have the greatest impact.

But those plans were blocked when the Motion Picture Association of America slapped the movie with a rated-R rating because there is a scene where the F-word is used six times in the film.

The movie’s director had the option of editing the scene, but he didn’t want to because it would take away from the film.


More than 500,000 people signed an online petition to convince the MPAA to reverse itself and grant the PG-13 rating..

As part of my job for CNN I interviewed Harvey Weinstein and Chris Dodd, chairman of the MPAA.  Dodd who is a former Senator from Connecticut agreed that teens should be able to see the movie. In fact,  he told me he wanted to take his 10-year old daughter to see it. But it was up to a board to decide to change the rating.

Bully  was released on a limited basis on March 30th, but will now have an expanded release in theaters April 13th

In a news release the Weinstein Company praised the MPAA and Senator Dodd:

The new rating, which came about with the great support from MPAA Chairman Chris Dodd, grants the schools, organizations and cities all around the country who are lined up and ready to screen BULLY, including the National Education Association and the Cincinnati School District, the opportunity to share this educational tool with their children.

“Senator Dodd is a hero for championing this cause, and the MPAA showed great courage by not cutting the scene everyone has been fighting to keep,” said TWC Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein. “Senator Dodd’s support gives voice to the millions of children who suffer from bullying, and on behalf of TWC, the filmmakers, the families in the film and the millions of children and parents who will now see this film, I thank him for recognizing that this very real issue cannot afford to go unnoticed.”




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Comments (2)

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  1. My kids grew up with the family rule that we don’t watch rated R movies. They’re grown up now, but I still hold to that. For that reason, I think the profanity should be bleeped–and I can use my imagination :o )

  2. Rei says:

    Curse words are only as bad as you make them. If you hype them up to be a big, bad thing, then that’s what they’ll be.
    I don’t think they should be censored out of documentaries as it’s documenting what the people are like.

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