'Bully' Gets Unrated Theatrical Release

The Weinstein Company had their recent appeal for a PG-13 rating denied, which lead to the documentary getting an unrated release on March 30.

Bully gets an unrated theatrical release
Bully gets an unrated theatrical release
After a recent plea to the MPAA by Bully teen Alex Libby and The Weinstein Company (TWC) Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein failed - by one vote - to get the film its deserved PG-13 rating, TWC is choosing to move forward with releasing the film unrated by the MPAA on March 30.

Furthering proof that the R rating for some language is inappropriate for a film that's meant to educate and help parents, teachers, school officials and children with what's become an epidemic in schools around the country, the fight against the rating continues on. The outpour of support by politicians, schools, parents, celebrities and activists for the film's mission to be seen by those it was made for - children - has been overwhelming. Nearly half a million people have signed Michigan high school student and former bullying victim Katy Butler's petition on Change.org to urge the MPAA to lower the rating.

Said Bully Director Lee Hirsch, "The small amount of language in the film that's responsible for the R rating is there because it's real. It's what the children who are victims of bullying face on most days. All of our supporters see that, and we're grateful for the support we've received across the board. I know the kids will come, so it's up to the theaters to let them in."

"The kids and families in this film are true heroes, and we believe theater owners everywhere will step up and do what's right for the benefit of all of the children out there who have been bullied or may have otherwise become bullies themselves. We're working to do everything we can to make this film available to as many parents, teachers and students across the country," said TWC President of Marketing Stephen Bruno.

For parents or teachers who are looking for more information or who may have concerns about showing children a movie unrated by the MPAA, please read Common Sense Media's rating details of the film here: CommonSenseMedia.org/Movie-Reviews/Bully.

"While it's often heartbreaking and deals with tough issues like suicide, the movie addresses bullying in a frank and relatable way that is age appropriate for teens and relevant for middle schoolers if an adult is present to guide the discussion," said James P. Steyer, Founder and CEO, Common Sense Media. "The MPAA's ratings system is inadequate when it comes looking at a movie's content through the lens of its larger thematic issues. Common Sense Media provides alternative ratings for parents who are looking for more guidance and context than the MPAA provides."

Bully will be released in theaters on Friday, March 30th in New York at the Angelika Film Center and AMC Lincoln Square and in Los Angeles at The Landmark, ArcLight Hollywood and AMC Century City.

Bully is a beautifully cinematic, character-driven documentary. At its heart are those with huge stakes in this issue whose stories each represent a different facet of America's bullying crisis. Filmed over the course of the 2009/2010 school year, Bully opens a window onto the pained and often endangered lives of bullied kids, revealing a problem that transcends geographic, racial, ethnic and economic borders. It documents the responses of teachers and administrators to aggressive behaviors that defy "kids will be kids" clichés, and it captures a growing movement among parents and youths to change how bullying is handled in schools, in communities and in society as a whole.

Bully was released March 30th, 2012 and stars Alex, Ja'Maya, Kelby, David Long, Tina Long, Kirk Smalley. The film is directed by Lee Hirsch.



Sources: The Weinstein Company

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Comments (9)

  1. Rudy

    Why not give it an NC-17 rating? Or is that worse?

    3 years agoby @rudyFlag

  2. slysnide

    I didn't know you could get a film released without the MPAA's approved rating. Seems that aspect of the story is missing here.

    3 years agoby @slysnideFlag

  3. moviegeek

    @bawnian-dexeus Yea, but now it's just a matter of pride and taking a stand. They don't want to give in.

    3 years agoby @moviegeekFlag

  4. moviegeek

    I agree with this decision. The MPAA is so screwed up.

    3 years agoby @moviegeekFlag

  5. Nicholaus XX

    @felipe-11 -- First of all, the MPAA is not "sh*t" - they're just in dire need of an update. Also, bringing the church into this matter is quite irrelevant.

    I watched some of that doc*mentary, and it shows how...odd MPAA is. It's little things that they won't allow that don't make complete sense, like the fact that you can show a penis, even if it's semi-erect, but it will get an automatic NC-17 rating if a fully erect penis is shown. And that's just a tip of the iceberg, don't get me started about the "Boys Don't Cry" and homosexuality issue.

    I also agree about the "Bully" matter. I'd rather it be unrated than get an R-Rating slapped onto it.

    3 years agoby @XxNickTheFilmCriticXxFlag

  6. Replicant

    Completely shameful. The MPAA is the biggest pile of sh*t to ever try to censor the world since the church. This proves how bad the US needs a new rating system.

    If you wanna know more about how f*cked up the MPAA is just watch the doc*mentary "This Film is Not Yet Rated".

    @bawnian-dexeus They could, but I'm guessing the director really wants the audience to see the rawness of the whole thing, and bleeping it would definitely make it much less shocking and apear more "playful".

    3 years agoby @felipe-11Flag

  7. Nicholaus XX

    @bawnian-dexeus -- To make a long story short, they could make an exception(like they've done before) and rate it PG-13 for educational purposes. They just want to be difficult, as always.

    3 years agoby @XxNickTheFilmCriticXxFlag

  8. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    Can't they bleep it out? Or edit it out? Is it that important to release the movie with the F-bomb even if its used a few times?

    3 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag