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. Visit 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.

Bully opens March 30.