Bullying | Ellen DeGeneres | Film | Harvey Weinstein | News

Ellen Joins Campaign to Change 'Bully' Rating as 200,000 Petitions are Delivered to MPAA: VIDEO


Last week I posted the trailer for the documentary Bully, and noted that Harvey Weinstein appealed to the MPAA for a PG-13 rating so the movie could reach the teen audience to which it was hoping to show the film. Weinstein has threatened to leave the MPAA if it doesn't. The MPAA has slapped the film with an R rating, severely limiting the audience it should reach.

BullyKaty Butler, a student, started a petition on Change.org after hearing about the rating. On it, she wrote:

When I was in 7th grade, a few guys came up behind me while putting my books in my locker. They called me names and asked me why I even bothered to show my face at school because no one liked me. I ignored them because I was scared of what else they might say and who else they might tell if I stood up to them. When I went to shut my locker, they pushed me against the wall. Then they slammed my locker shut on my hand, breaking my fourth finger. I held back tears while I watched them run away laughing. I didn’t know what to do so I stood there, alone and afraid.

I can’t believe the MPAA is blocking millions of teenagers from seeing a movie that could change -- and, in some cases, save -- their lives. According to the film’s website, over 13 million kids will be bullied this year alone. Think of how many of these kids could benefit from seeing this film, especially if it is shown in schools?

Incidentally, Canadian censors have given the film a PG rating.

Now Ellen DeGeneres has joined the campaign for the rating change.

Watch her talk about it, and introduce Katie, AFTER THE JUMP...


And here's the trailer if you missed it:

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  1. I start to tear up within the first minute.
    The MPAA is completely out of touch as usual.

    Posted by: Derek | Mar 8, 2012 8:39:36 AM

  2. The MPAA rating is a criminal act of information bullying itself and Weinstein should throw his shoe at someone before he leaves.

    Posted by: uffda | Mar 8, 2012 8:44:16 AM

  3. The persausive power of television can be so effective in the hands of Ellen DeGeneres,
    who has the ability to "change hearts & minds" of her (unaware) viewers five days a week.
    It's no wonder she drives wingnuts crazy!

    Posted by: Marcito | Mar 8, 2012 8:53:31 AM

  4. I saw BULLY at the True/False Film Festival in Columbia MO last weekend. It is not a perfect film but accurately shows that anybody can be bullied for any reason.
    The stories are reinforced by images of insults and intimidation on buses and in school hallways. The responses of teachers and school administrators is depicted as covering the ground between cheerful dismissal of accusations of bullying--"kids that age do many silly things", and some who take a firm stance and make it clear that bullying is entirely unacceptable.

    The "coarse language" cited by MPAA to justify the R rating is nothing most five year olds haven't heard. It is the language used by bullies and by their victims. Sexual terms are not used in a sexual sense, but to intimidate, humiliate and demean.

    The MPAA is an odd thing. Take a look at a film from a few years ago called THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED to see how it operates secretively and according to some standards that are not clearly defined. The raters are both out of touch with reality and promoting a rightist social agenda that would prefer to keep kids in ignorance about the prevalence and effects of all bullying behavior lest some gay kid might be spared violence, emotional scarring or death, and make it through school feeling like a fully human, valued individual.

    Posted by: gregory brown | Mar 8, 2012 10:07:06 AM

  5. of course the film got a PG in Canada - our ratings board isn't a collection of wussy conservatives with a right-wing agenda.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 8, 2012 12:20:12 PM

  6. What the MPAA doesn't understand--indeed, what many adults don't understand--is that anything you can see on a movie theater screen is infinitely more tame than what some of these kids are experiencing IN REALITY. The notion that teenagers need to be protected from watching a movie that documents the physical and psychological cruelty, harassment, and torture perpetrated on them by other teens, when such things happen IN REAL LIFE on a daily basis across the nation, is the height of irony.

    MPAA censors, you think you're protecting children? Are you so obstinately stupid that you fail to realize that it's children who are doing this to each other and that's the whole reason why the movie exists in the first place? I've NEVER heard of any teenager who committed suicide because they watched a movie and were traumatized by it.

    Posted by: atomic | Mar 8, 2012 12:23:48 PM

  7. If it is so important for kids to see this movie then Weinstein should make it available to them. There's this thing called "YouTube" that almost all kids have access to - put it on there. Sure he won't make then money he wants but Weinstein is a very wealthy man and this will barely affect his bottom line. Even with a PG rating it will barely make the rounds in theatres and schools will still take issue with the f-bombs. The MPAA is still rotten to the core but they can't stop YouTube. Also YouTube is owned by Google, another kinda rich company and strong supporter of the "it gets better" campaign. Between Google and Weinstein they can make this available to everyone. But until then I credit Weinstein with creating great publicity for it.

    Posted by: Craig | Mar 8, 2012 12:42:46 PM

  8. Ellen, you rock. You shine. Love you always.

    Posted by: Max | Mar 8, 2012 9:23:39 PM

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