'Bully', a hard-hitting new documentary that examines the problems of bullying in schools, has been given an R rating by the MPAA, meaning many teens will be prevented from seeing it. The movie has been heralded as one of the most important films in recent years and the rating has resulted in an outcry from cinemagoers and celebrities alike.
According to USA Today, high school student Katy Butler was so incensed by the MPAA's decision that she began a petition to get the movie a PG-13 rating. Her petition immediately took off and has received over 400,000 signatures. Hollywood actor Johnny Depp and recent Oscar-winner Meryl Streep are just a couple of the celebrities who have opposed the rating, and talk show host Ellen Degeneres advocated a lower rating during a discussion on her show. The host told viewers, "Last month I got to see a new documentary that's coming out called Bully. It's an important movie for everyone to see, especially kids, but the problem is that's been giving an R rating.Having an R rating makes it difficult for everyone under 17 to see it.Also you can't show R rated movies in schools and that's exactly where it needs to be shown". In her petition, Katy Butler states, "According to the film's website, over 13 million kids will be bullied this year alone. Think of how many of these kids could benefit from seeing this film, especially if it is shown in schools?".
Bully has been produced by Lee Hirsch and Alicia Dwyer and is produced by HARVEY WEINSTEIN.