My hatred of the MPAA is legend. I’m pretty sure sonnets have been written about it, 14 lines of iambic pentameter detailing just how much I seethe whenever I see something like The Hunger Games (which I loved, granted, but it’s a film about children murdering each other for sport) get a PG-13 rating but something with sex or swearing automatically gets slapped with an R. Remember the 70s and 80s when boobs, a bunch of “shit”s, and 1-2 “fuck”s would get you PG? I do. Good times.
The shitshow that stemmed from the documentary Bully getting an R rating was amazing. People were de-crying the MPAA, as they should, since they’re holding onto an archaic rating system that either needs serious revamping or abolishment altogether, and the MPAA just looked like the bunch of Bible-thumping assholes they are. Everyone, from the common man to A-list celebs, appealed to the MPAA to lower the rating to PG-13. A few “fucks” shouldn’t be the reason the film was kept from the people who needed to see it — namely everyone between the ages of 10 – 18. But, naturally, the MPAA was like, “WE’RE NOT CHANGING THE RATING AND THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO DEFY US.”
So the Weinstein Company said, “Well, watch this.”
(note: this isn’t as pretty as it should be, because the blockquote function is a hateful prick.)
“The small amount of language in the film that’s responsible for the R rating is there because it’s real,” said director Lee Hirsch. “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.”
TWC had mounted an aggressive effort to persuade the MPAA to reverse its initial ratings verdict. Nearly half a million people signed a petition from Katy Butler, Michigan high school student and former bullying victim, on Change.org to urge the MPAA to lower the rating. “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,” said TWC president of marketing Stephen Bruno. “We’re working to do everything we can to make this film available to as many parents, teachers and students across the country.”
Bully, which tells the stories of several children who were victimized by classmates, will be released in theaters on Friday, March 30, at the Angelika Film Center and AMC Lincoln Square in New York and at the Landmark, ArcLight Hollywood, and AMC Century City in Los Angeles.
Now all we can do is hope to fuck the theaters won’t be crushed under the MPAA’s massive hard-on for total control and will actually show the damn thing. If I was forced to watch a baby’s birth — from the doctor’s POV, which is something I will never unsee — in the 7th grade, then a movie with a few swears should be goddamn mandatory.
Getting off my soapbox now. I only use it because it makes me taller; I don’t actually need a box to rant.