After weeks of dispute over the rating for the documentary “Bully,” the MPAA and the Weinstein Co. have come to an agreement. The film will now have a PG-13 rating.
The rating for “Bully” has been the topic of much controversy. The movie, which documents the teen bullying problem in the U.S., had originally earned an “R” for what the MPAA believed to be coarse language. Producers were unwilling to budge on editing, and on March 26, they announced that they would release the film unrated. As a result, theater operators were in the position to determine who would be allowed to see the movie.
But it appears that negotiations were ongoing. The Weinstein Co. tells the AP that with the removal of just three expletives, the MPAA gave the film the desired PG-13 rating.
“I feel completely vindicated with this resolution,” director Lee Hirsch says in a statement. “While I retain my belief that PG-13 has always been the appropriate rating for this film, as reinforced by Canada’s rating of a PG, we have today scored a victory from the MPAA.”
Producers, along with celebs like Justin Bieber, Ellen DeGeneres and Meryl Streep, had each called on the MPAA to give the film a lower rating than its initial “R.” Even a Michigan teen, herself a bullying victim, secured 500,000 signatures as part of an online petition.
“In the case of Bully, the ratings system has worked exactly as it is supposed to: parents have been kept informed of the content of each version of the film, and they have been given the information they need to make movie-going decisions on behalf of their kids,” Joan Graves, Chairman of the Classification and Ratings Administration for the MPAA, says in a statement.