AMC Theaters Reach 'Bully' Rating Compromiseby: Posted:
With the film premiering Friday, "Bully" distributors The Weinstein Co. had to call an audible this week and give the documentary about peer-abusing adolescents an "Unrated" tag instead of the Motion Picture Association of America's "R" rating.
Because the film couldn't catch a break over one scene's language, AMC Theaters have offered a compromise so the movie can be seen by its intended audience, Reuters reports.
The Kansas City-based chain will carry the film despite The Weinstein Co.'s gamble, but with the provision that viewers under 17 years old and buying a ticket alone must provide a parental permission note. AMC has made the official permission slip available online here.
"More than 13 million American kids will be bullied this year," the linked website's disclaimer reads, accompanied by the film's official trailer. "This documentary follows the stories of five kids and their families and was filmed during the 2009-2010 school year. Their experiences reveal a larger problem that affects all children, regardless of geographic, racial and economic borders.
"AMC Theaters believes people of all ages can benefit from teh message of this film," the site adds at the bottom. "That's why we are allowing all guests to experience the version of this film that is not rated."
It's been a dispute centered upon a seemingly black-and-white rule held by the MPAA, which represents the film industry where it concerns the federal government: any film that contains two or more uses of "f***" and its variants - or even one, if the one use references a sexual act - will receive an "R" rating. "Bully" contains one particular scene in which a young bully uses that profanity multiple times while describing how he'd torment a prospective victim.
The rating of a film that many feel young people and parents alike must see raised such a stir, that a Change.org petition asking that the MPAA give it a "PG-13" rating gathered more than one million signatures.