MPAA Changes 'Bully' Rating to PG-13 with Crucial Scene Intact
Bully, the powerful documentary that has been at the center or a ratings controversy that inspired a massively successful online petition and celebrity support, will be released with a PG-13 rating from the Motion Picture Association of America in time for its April 13, expansion to 55 markets, The Weinstein Company announced in a release from Change.Org Wednesday.
The MPAA originally slapped the film with an R rating over six swear words that producers said were integral to depicting Bully -- which follows bullied students over the course of a year -- realistically.
To obtain the PG-13 rating three minor edits were made to the film, but without altering a scene crucial to the film’s message that has been at the center of the controversy, according to Change.org's release.
Public pressure really began to mount against the MPAA’s R rating when Michigan high school junior Katy Butler, 17, launched a Change.Org petition to change the rating to PG-13 in order for the film’s target audience of teens to be able to screen the movie. Butler’s petition gathered more than 500,000 signatures and caught the attention of celebrities including Ellen DeGeneres, Justin Bieber, Meryl Streep and Michael Jordan, who all voiced support for the rating change. Butler’s work for the cause also landed her an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and a special recognition GLAAD Media Award last month.
“On behalf of the more than half a million supporters who joined me on Change.org in petitioning the MPAA, I want to express how grateful I am not only to the MPAA for lowering the rating without cutting a vital scene, but to all of the people who used their voices to put a national spotlight on this movie and its mission,” Butler said in the release.
Read SheWired's interview with Katy Butler here.
Image via The Weinstein Company.