Bully, a documentary about bullying, rated R for language by the assholes at the MPAA

The tight-ass morons at the MPAA have given an upcoming documentary about bullying an R rating, preventing kids–who may need the film more than anyone else–from seeing the film, simply because it contains language many teenagers use on a daily basis. Fucking assholes.

Yesterday, the Weinstein Company’s Harvey Weinstein and a bullied kid featured in the documentary, which was directed by Lee Hirsch, petitioned the MPAA to reconsider its R rating, which is simply for “some language.” Entertainment Weekly reports that they “delivered statements to the MPAA’s Classification and Rating Appeals Board … arguing that an R rating would prevent Bully from reaching the adolescent audience that would most benefit from the movie. (The studio was planning on screening the documentary at various middle and high schools.) However, for an MPAA rating to be overturned, a two-thirds vote is required — and Bully was one vote short.”

After the vote, Weinstein released a statement in which he said, in part,

“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.”

MPAA ratings chair Joan Graves said in a statement,

“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 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.”

This is the same organization that allows graphic violence in PG-13 movies, but throw in some sex or too many f-words and suddenly it’s damaging to the fragile minds of children. We really are a nation of Puritan morons sometimes. Anyway, the MPAA’s ridiculousness was explored in a fascinating documentary, This Film is Not Yet Rated.

Watch the trailer for the now R-rated film Bully:

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.