A documentary about bullying that children can’t see? No wonder Weinstein’s lost his cool – News – Films – The Independent
A movie about bullying, from a producer sometimes accused of bullying, has ignited the debate about how film-makers are bullied into censoring work that may upset America’s “family values” lobby.
At issue is a restrictive “R”rating recently given to Bully, a documentary released this month. It means children under the age of 17 will be unable to watch the film, which follows five bullied teenagers, unless a parent or guardian is present.
The decision has outraged backers of the film, produced by Harvey Weinstein, the independent mogul behind The Artist. They had hoped to screen it in schools, where teachers might use it to kick-start conversation about an issue which is highly topical, following a string of widely-reported adolescent suicides.
Mr Weinstein has already threatened to withdraw his company from the Motion Picture Association of America‘s MPAA ratings system in protest. He recently told the Hollywood Reporter, “kids need to be able to see this film on their own, not with parents, because that’s the only way to truly make a change”.
On Wednesday, Katy Butler, a 17-year-old victim of bullying, delivered a petition calling for the rating to be reconsidered to MPAA’s headquarters in Los Angeles. It carried almost a quarter of a million signatures. “This film could save lives,” she said. For now the agency is standing firm, saying Bully cannot be given a more liberal classification because of a scene in which teenagers repeatedly swear. Any film which contains more than one “sexually-derived” swear word is rated “R”.
- ‘Bully’ updates: MPAA to host special screening, while Congressman circulates letter asking MPAA to change film’s R rating (insidemovies.ew.com)
- ‘Bully’: Student urges MPAA to change rating (cnn.com)
- Teen Continues Effort to Change ‘R’ Rating on Bullying Documentary (laist.com)
- ‘Bully’ controversy: Student delivers 200,000 signatures to MPAA, urging organization to change documentary’s R rating (insidemovies.ew.com)
- Weinstein threatens MPAA boycott (nation.com.pk)
- Ellen Degeneres sides with teen in debate over bullying movie (latimesblogs.latimes.com)
- Harvey Weinstein Threatens to Leave MPAA After ‘Bully’ Documentary is Given ‘R’ Rating (towleroad.com)
- Bully Trailer: Documentary Loses Appeal of ‘R’ Rating (thehollywoodgossip.com)
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