Ellen DeGeneres on Thursday joined Ann
Arbor, Michigan teen Katy Butler in protesting the Motion Picture
Association of America's (MPAA) decision to give the documentary film
Bully an R rating.
In the documentary, which is being
distributed by The Weinstein Company, viewers meet the victims of
bullies, including 12-year-old Alex from Sioux City, Iowa and
16-year-old Kelby from Tuttle, Oklahoma. Kelby's ordeal began after
she came out gay.
The MPAA said the film's R rating is
due to six expletives heard in the documentary.
On her The Ellen DeGeneres Show,
DeGeneres said the movie needs to be seen by younger kids.
“Some language in the movie, it's
mature but it's not gratuitous,” DeGeneres said. “It's in the
movie because it's part of the real story of bullying. And it's real
language that bullies are using. But having an R rating makes it
difficult for anyone 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.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.
our video library for more videos.)
Butler, 17, launched a Change.org
petition asking the MPAA to lower the film's rating to PG-13 so that
younger students can watch the film. She delivered more than 200,000
signatures to MPAA officials on Wednesday.
Butler told CNN that she became the
victim of bullying after she identified as a lesbian.
opens March 30.