'Bully' Stands Up to MPAA with Unrated Release
By DAVID WEINER
March 26, 2012
Legendary movie producer Harvey Weinstein is not one to be bullied around, and following a close-but-no-cigar R-rating battle with the MPAA, the co-chairman of The Weinstein Company will release his new documentary, Bully, unrated in theaters on March 30.
The unflinching and emotional documentary, flagged with an R rating for language that has been deemed inappropriate by the Motion Picture Association of America for anyone under the age of 17, has been the subject of debate since Weinstein challenged the organization's influential ratings decision, declaring the film too important to be missed by its target audience: children.
But despite an outpouring of support and petitions by schools, parents, celebrities and politicians, the film failed to get a PG-13 rating by just one vote -- preventing the film from being screened in schools as an educational tool and making it that much more difficult for much of its crucial audience demographic from seeing it.
"The small amount of language in the film that's responsible for the R rating is there because it's real," says director Lee Hirsch. "It's what the children who are victims of bullying face on most days. All of our supporters see that, and we're grateful for the support we've received across the board. I know the kids will come, so it's up to the theaters to let them in."
The unrated Bully will start with a limited release on Friday, March 30 in New York at the Angelika Film Center and AMC Lincoln Square and in Los Angeles at The Landmark, ArcLight Hollywood and AMC Century City.