The Weinsteins Now Releasing the 'Bully' Doc Unrated This Weekend
by Alex Billington
March 26, 2012
So this is how Harvey plans to get back the MPAA, to release it unrated. After a recent plea to the MPAA by Bully teen Alex Libby and The Weinstein Company (TWC) Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein failed – by one vote – to get the film its deserved PG-13 rating, TWC is choosing to move forward with releasing the film unrated by the MPAA on March 30. The Weinstein Company has officially announced that Lee Hirsch & Alicia Dwyer's documentary Bully will be released in limited New York & Los Angeles theaters starting this weekend, March 30th. If you've been curious to see this, now is the time to go see it - unrated - in theaters!
The press release for the news contains some pretty harsh criticism of the MPAA's decision, stating:
Furthering proof that the R rating for some language is inappropriate for a film that's meant to educate and help parents, teachers, school officials and children with what's become an epidemic in schools around the country, the fight against the rating continues on. The outpour of support by politicians, schools, parents, celebrities and activists for the film's mission to be seen by those it was made for – children – has been overwhelming. Nearly half a million people have signed Michigan high school student and former bullying victim Katy Butler's petition on Change.org to urge the MPAA to lower the rating.
Said Bully Director Lee Hirsch, "The small amount of language in the film that's responsible for the R rating is there because it's real. 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."
So take that, MPAA, I guess. For parents or teachers who are looking for more information or who may have concerns about showing children a movie unrated by the MPAA, please read Common Sense Media's rating details of the film linked here. "The MPAA's ratings system is inadequate when it comes looking at a movie's content through the lens of its larger thematic issues. Common Sense Media provides alternative ratings for parents who are looking for more guidance and context than the MPAA provides," says James P. Steyer, Founder & CEO of Common Sense Media (more info here). "While it's often heartbreaking and deals with tough issues like suicide, the movie addresses bullying in a frank and relatable way that is age appropriate for teens and relevant for middle schoolers if an adult is present to guide the discussion."
Bully will be released in theaters on Friday, March 30th 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. Bully is a beautifully cinematic, character-driven documentary. At its heart are those with huge stakes in this issue whose stories each represent a different facet of America's bullying crisis. You can watch the official trailer if you haven't seen it yet. Hopefully the film continues to expand to more theaters outside of New York and Los Angeles, but it needs all the support it can get. For more, visit: thebullyproject.com.