Success! MPAA Reverses Decision on ‘Bully’ Film Rating

After months of pressure, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has reversed its decision to give the highly praised ‘Bully’ documentary an ‘R’ rating.

Partially thanks to Care2 members, who signed the petition started by the film’s director, the MPAA have changed their minds and agreed to a PG-13 for a slightly re-cut version, which means that the film can now been freely shown in high schools, to one of its target audiences.

The film was produced by the powerful Weinstein Company and they have been organizing a media blitz against the MPAA for their original decision.

The MPAA had offered to give it a different rating if swearing was removed — much of which was contained in one crucial scene on a school bus — but producers refused, saying that the swearing is in line with the abuse experienced by children across the US on a daily basis. The re-cut version leaves the most F-word laden but also most powerful scene intact.

Before the MPAA reversal, one theatre chain, AMC Theaters, had broken with the industry and said that would allow in those under 17, with a note from their parents or guardian.

Author Paul Levinson tells the Christian Science Monitor that the controversy has focused unwanted attention on the ratings system itself.

“Putting anything in the way of kids seeing this movie – kids who could well be victims of bullying themselves – was not only foolish but destructive,” he said.

But not everyone is pleased. Right-wing group The Parents Television Council (PTC) criticised the reversal, citing that profanity was not entirely cut from the film which will go into wide distribution later this month.

Thanks, Care2 members, for helping kids to be able to see this important film.

Watch ‘Bully’ trailer:

Related stories:

Roger Ebert on Outrageous Rating For ‘Bully’ Movie

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

Accused Bully In Suicide Case Acquitted At Trial

Photo credit: Bully movie poster


Cheyenne Rainfeather
Cheyenne Barnett5 years ago

Everyone in school should see this movie.....even young children. It might show them how to stand up for themselves encourage others to stand with them.
I lost my highschool because of bullies. I couldnt stand it anymore. I was an honor student and I endedup quitting in grade 11 because I was so exhausted by all the bullying at school.
It has had a lasting impact on my life. Those wounds run deep and people need to come together to realize what it does to a child.
I heard that same comment from a parent that"kids are just being kids" in a court room when my daughter was being bullied. She actually ended up being beaten up and I had to take her to the hospital. I charged the girl and took her to court and the judge agreed that enough was enough. I couldnt stop it for myself when I was young but I stopped it for my daughter so she didnt have to live through what I did. The girl had to do community service and was put on probation. She also had to stay away from my daughter. WE have to start standing up for our kids and protect them. If the schools wont do it......then charge the schools . This has to stop our kids are dying from it.

ANA MARIJA R5 years ago

Glad to hear...Hope this film gets wide distribution...

Lebarbier A.

Thanks. Good news

Amy LaHaie
Amy LaHaie5 years ago

Thank you for rethinking the rating on the movie, most people don't realized most bullying gets worse in high school.

Victoria L.
Victoria L5 years ago

Kids will hear worse profanity in school. I hope I have the opportunity to see this film.

Melanie Clark
Melanie Clark5 years ago

I was bullied in school, especially when I was in elementary school and no one did anything about it. I'm 37 years old now, and my oldest daugher, now 18, was being bullied at her school. No one did anything about it, and this school is listed as the #1 rated school for education. You know what they did? Instead of taking care of the people who were bullying my daughter, they told her that it would be better for her to go to this other school where she could go in the morning or afternoon and all her classes would be online. So basically they kicked her out of her regular school and never took care of the kids who actually bullied her. They did this to every student who was bullied by these same people; I found this out later. It is so sad that our kids have to bullied. The effects of bullying can stick with you for the rest of your life. It is is the worst thing to happen to anyone. It's good to see that someone has decided to produce a movie like this one; maybe now people will take these kids more seriously.

Ra-Ana G.
Ra-Ana G5 years ago

As a filmmaker and a responsible adult concerned about the issue of bullying, I am so glad that the petition I signed was effective in changing the rating to allow this important film to be shown and discussed in schools, where the issue originates.

Teri I.
Theresa I5 years ago

This movie should be made a manditory veiwing for all faculty and staff in US schools. Yes, the kids need to see it...but the adults need an education and wake up call too! Not all are plugged in yet!

Jill Waller
Jill Waller5 years ago

This was honestly one of the most inspirational movies I have ever seen. I encourage anyone, young or old, to see this- it's really powerful.

Joe R.
Joe R5 years ago

Hope this film gets wide distribution!