The documentary film Bully
will be released in theaters without a rating, leaving the decision
to show the film to young people to individual movie theaters.
The Motion Picture Association of
America (MPAA) originally gave the film an R rating due to six
expletives heard in the documentary, which is being distributed by
The Weinstein Company.
looks at the lives of several 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 small amount of language in the
film that's responsible for the R rating is there because it's real,”
Bully director Lee Hirsch said in a statement. “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.”
After the MPAA rejected an appeal by
The Weinstein Company, Michigan teen Katy Butler launched an
online petition asking the MPAA to lower the film's rating to
PG-13 so that younger students can watch the film. More than 485,000
people signed onto the petition, including Ellen DeGeneres and 26
members of Congress.
The 17-year-old Butler has said she
became the victim of bullying after she identified as a lesbian.
The film opens March 30. (A trailer
for the film is embedded in the right panel of this page. Visit
our video library for more videos.)