According to MSNBC, director Lee Hirsch said that he and the MPAA came to a compromise, where he was able to keep the key scene in question mostly intact, save for three uses of one certain word:
“We retained the central scene and all three (words) are intact. The whole scene is intact and that … was a great victory for me.”
Hirsch says that he’s glad he stuck by his guns for the rating, something that could have greatly limited the primary audience of school children from even seeing it:
“I’m just glad that we held strong. I think this is a great resolution…We are getting so much interest to see the film, and this makes it much easier for schools to get behind it.”
The documentary, which follows five kids and families who have been impacted by bullying, opened in New York and Los Angeles last weekend completely unrated to a strong $23,000 per screen average at box offices.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The MPAA initially gave it an “R” rating due to the use of one certain curse word six times in the movie. Usually, usage of that particular word more than once is automatically warrants the rating.
Hirsch and Weinstein initially lobbied the MPAA’S ratings board to change its mind, arguing that it will exclude the very people on whom it would have the most impact, kids. But Hirsch refused to change his movie, and the MPAA refused to budge, too.