Post Rated R for Language: MPAA Limits Access to Anti-Bullying Movie


The Motion Picture Association of America fucked up once again by handing out an R rating to the documentary Bully, which shows the horrific impact of its title subject. Mentioning the word fuck in film causes the MPAA to leap into hysteria and smack the harsh rating onto any number of films.

As you can see in the trailer for the documentary below, the film attempts to show the realities of bullying in school and life as a teenager. The truth of the matter is that people under the age of 17 use coarse language on a near daily basis. A film that tries to show this should not receive a rating that prohibits its target audience from seeing the movie and hopefully learning a powerful lesson.

Lee Hirsh, the director of the film, decided not to give up the fight despite losing its appeal. Hirsh started a petition asking the MPAA to overturn the decision. He writes:

That would in effect ban screenings at U.S. middle and high schools, where Weinstein and the filmmakers want to show it.

The film is set for a March 30 release in theaters. Without the overturn of this rating, the film will not be permitted to be shown to students and school children across the country.

We have a responsibility to the more than 13 million youth who are bullied every year in the US to make available this transformative story, their story.

He’s right. A few curse words should not deem a film taboo in our society. The MPAA is saying that words hurt and that lesson should not be taught through the film itself but through our own rating system.

Linda Holmes put it well for NPR:

The rating is about swear words. If the swear words get bleeped, they’ll change it. The MPAA is saying, whether they would put it in these terms or not, that it is more important that a parent or guardian be present to contextualize too many uses of the F-word — and be informed that their kid will be exposed to that — than it is that a parent or guardian be present to contextualize an 11-year-old committing suicide, and that the parent know that the kid is going to watch as the parents of a dead teenager tour the bedroom where he died.

Last year’s best picture winner King’s Speech received the same rating for it’s language, while more violent films like Terminator: Salvation are rated PG-13.

This decision by the MPAA merely showcases how out of touch they have become. As Hirsh notes, 13 million kids are bullied. We face an epidemic of teenage suicides because of the constant harassment in and out of schools.

MPAA needs to reverse direction and allow a teenager to choose this movie instead of the one’s that glorify violence. Please consider signing the petition.


Related Stories:

After-School Fight Ends 10-Year-Old Girl’s Life, Homicide Investigation Begins

Don’t Say Gay Bill Needed to Keep Indoctrinating Children, Claims Rep

Gay Ohio Teen Beaten in the Classroom Tells His Story



Shawn A.
Shawn A.5 years ago

I have seen sexually expect and suggestive material on ABC, NBC, and Fox but our children cannot be exposed to a movie that focuses on real issues they could experience on a daily basis??

This is a subject that needs to be voiced and seen by all. Adults need to guide children when approaching life's hard subjects. Please see this movie with your children and open the communication channels.


Diane T.
Diane T.5 years ago


Nicole Bergeron
Nicole Bergeron5 years ago

I have come to notice that those rated R are most often pg-13 friendly, while many that are pg-13 should be rated R much of the time

cassandra Yinger
Cassandra Yinger5 years ago

We can't let this happen! What's the point if we don't let kids watch it. How language hurts is the whole point of the movie. The reason why kids shouldn't talk that way is the point. The adults should grow up.

Mari Garcia
Mari Garcia5 years ago

i think the taboo around cursing is just plain out stupid. words are just words unless one gives them power. my 14 month old said "shit" the other day, did we yell at him? did we try to censor ourselves? no, because these words exsist and its ridiculous to believe that he wont hear them if we dont use them. we just laughed at it and went on our business and he hasnt said it since. reality, most kids seem to want to repeatedly do what they get in trouble for

Doris Turner
Doris Turner5 years ago

If this is banned because of swearing, the ban folks need to go to a kindergarden or first grade class. They might even learn some new stuff.

Ernie Miller
william Miller5 years ago


Maxine M.
Maxine M5 years ago

The Who, "Who are you", a famous song that was originally outright banned from radio, has been around for years and has had radio play in bedrooms, living rooms, retro dance hall parties. What's the last line in the lyrics again? Right.

The movie may well do an audio maneuver where the sound emitted is, "fffffffk", as kids already use and utilize this one in hallways anyway, and it is not 'technically' cursing.

There are times though when, plain and simple, I have heard "the f bomb dropped" by kids of elementary school age, though, thankfully, my own managed to refrain from such things in their developing years.

The movie needs to be shown, regardless. So show it, with guidance.

Max M.
Max M5 years ago

The fucking MPAA are a self appointed body of Right Wing fucking fucktards. As others have mentioned, the Andy Dick film, 'This Film Is Not Yet Rated,' will show you how fucking out of fucking touch they are with fucking reality. Anyone remember the movie, KIDS and how is upset America. I laughed so hard when I heard that parents wer 'outraged' that I fell off my chair. The outrage should be from the kids to the parents for being so fucking out of fucking touch with them.

Guess Care2 editors are going to censor this post too. The irony is palpable.

Max M.
Max M5 years ago

WTF? So let me get this straight; Care2 CENSORED my post because I had too many fucks in it? That has to be the most ironic Catch 22 moment I've ever encountered.

A few days ago I also noticed that another of my posts, on a different topic, was also missing, but I figured I was just having a senior moment; how interesting.