Toronto Diary
2 min

Bully is being released unrated

Good-ish news, everyone? After the Motion Picture Association of America decided that Bully’s frank and realistic look at the lives of real teenagers was too mature for real teenagers (feel free to try and follow that train of unlogic; see where it takes you) the filmmakers have decided to just bypass the MPAA and release the film unrated. So what does that mean? To put it bluntly, it means that hypothetically, your kid has a 50-50 chance of being allowed or not being allowed to see the movie. Here’s the press release from Movieline, condensed for the sake of space:

March 26, 2012 – New York, NY – 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. 

[…]

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.”

“The kids and families in this film are true heroes, and we believe theater owners everywhere will step up and do what’s right for the benefit of all of the children out there who have been bullied or may have otherwise become bullies themselves. We’re working to do everything we can to make this film available to as many parents, teachers and students across the country,” said TWC President of Marketing Stephen Bruno.

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 here: http://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/bully. […]

You can read the full press release by following the link, but the basic gist here is that the makers of Bully barely missed out on a PG-13 rating, and because of this, they’re going to take a gamble by releasing the movie unrated. Theatres will then be forced to make the judgment call of whether or not they feel the movie is appropriate for teenagers to see. And for the record, asking whether Bully is appropriate for teenagers is like looking at a can of cat food and wondering if it’s okay to feed to your cat. YES. For God’s sake, it was specifically made for them. This really shouldn’t be that hard to figure out.
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