Hollywood Circles The Wagons To Fight R-Rating For 'Bully' Documentaryby: Posted:
The Motion Picture Association of America has seemingly run afoul of, among others, more than a few of the filmmakers it supposedly reins in, reports Yahoo! OMG.
Cadres of famous folk including Demi Lovato, Martha Stewart, Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Michael Jordan and Ellen DeGeneres have joined the cause of jumping down the MPAA's throat over the regulatory board rating slapping the documentary "Bully" with an "R" rating. Director Lee Hirsch's portrait of five of the 13 million or so young people affected yearly by their peers' bullying is quickly being considered too important to show America's youth -- both the bullys and their victims -- to give it a rating that would keep many of both out of theaters.
This all apparently started with 17-year-old openly lesbian high school student Katy Butler's Change.org petition to change the rating. That eventually begat attorneys David Boies and Ted Olsen suggesting slapping the MPAA with a lawsuit to drop the rating to a "PG-13." So far, the petition has gathered over 450,000 signees including among them the aforementioned famous folks.
Of course, as is often the case, it comes back to a little foul language. Speculation is that the "R" stems largely from a single scene in which a bully drops multiple F-bombs describing what he'll do to a victim, reports The Los Angeles Times. Under MPAA guidelines, any film that uses a variation on that expletive twice or more -- or only once, if describing a sexual act -- gets an "R" rating.
The Canadian rating body has given the film a "PG" but as of now, it will open in New York and L.A. March 30 with its "R" intact.
"How ridiculous and unfair and damaing it is to have a film of this power and importance that is being censored by a rating system that has got simlpy no rational basis," Boies said. "You can kill kids, you can maim them, you can torture them and still get a PG-13 rating, but if they say a couple of bad words you blame them. I hope, for Heaven's sake, that they find some rational basis before we have to sue them to revise the rating system."
Check out the trailer below, then hear DeGeneres' impressions of the documentary during a recent moment from "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."