Bully Gets Its PG-13 Rating

The producers of “Bully” have won a battle with the Motion Picture Association Of America to give the film a PG-13 rating instead of R. Now kids as young as 13 can see this important documentary.

The producers of “Bully” have won a battle with the Motion Picture Association Of America to give the film a PG-13 rating instead of R. Now kids as young as 13 can see this important documentary.

The documentary follows five American students who were bullied at school, including two students whose tormenting ended in their suicides.

The original issue behind the “R” rating was a painfully brutal scene that showed 15-year-old Alex Libby getting viciously harassed on a school bus. The inclusion of three  ”F-word”  references were enough to convince the MPAA to give the film an “R” rating.

When the film originally missed out on a PG-13 rating, producers decided to opt out of the rating system entirely, instead going for the standard ‘not rated’ disclaimer. But the public outcry kept the fight for a PG-13 alive, led by several celebrities, including including Anderson Cooper, Meryl Streep, Ellen DeGeneres and Johnny Depp. More than half a million citizens signed a petition on Change.org to lower the rating. The effectiveness of the MPAA suddenly came into question. Opponents pointed out that a commercially successful film like ‘The Hunger Games,’ which seemingly glorifies a contest that centers on a contest to the death among teens had managed to get a PG-13, but an important documentary that could influence change among our nation’s youth could not.

Finally, after some negotiation, Director Lee Hirsch managed to keep the key scene in, but still get a PG-13 by removing three uses of the “F”-word.

Hirsch tells ABC’s Nightline: “I am excited that kids my age can easily go see the movie now that we have a PG-13 rating … I hope everyone who’s ever been bullied watches this and knows they’re not alone, and that they can stand up for themselves like I do now.”

The  film is slated for wide release on April 13.

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