Friday, April 6, 2012

‘Bully’ is rated PG-13

PG-13 logo. Source:
An update from PACER Center in my Twitter timeline alerted me to the exciting news: the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) had given a PG-13 rating to the “Bully” documentary. In the words of the movie’s Facebook page, “This is a great victory for us all!”

The MPAA originally refused to budge from its decision to issue an R rating for the documentary film, which follows families impacted by bullying.

An R rating meant that the film could not be shown in schools.

Weinstein Co. co-founder Harvey Weinstein appealed the rating and on March 27, MTV reported that Weinstein had decided to release the film unrated in the United States.

A viral petition by 17-year-old Katy Butler drew nearly 500,000 signatures according to the MTV report, which can be viewed at

A PRNewswire press release, dated April 5, relates an enormous victory for the documentary film: the MPAA agreed to lower the R rating to PG-13.

Three uses of the F-word were removed from the film but a crucial scene was left intact (PRNewswire).

This victory is personally rewarding to me because of my own experience as a survivor of childhood peer abuse: I was physically and verbally abused as well as isolated and ostracized by my classmates at Calistoga Elementary and Calistoga Junior/Senior High School.

Poignantly, children on the autism spectrum are especially vulnerable to bullying.

A DisabilityScoop report dated March 26 cites research indicating that 63 percent of children with autism have been bullied compared to 12 percent of their typically-developing siblings:

That a PG-13 rating will make this movie more accessible to children, I view as a personal victory. No child should have to be bullied as I was and I hope this film expands the awareness of everyone in the community who can do something about bullying.

“The end of bullying begins with me.” Add your name to a digital petition at

The movie’s Facebook page gives special thanks to Butler and has posted a video link of her acceptance speech at the GLAAD Media Awards. View it at

Read the PRNewswire press release at

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