© 2024 WFSU Public Media
WFSU News · Tallahassee · Panama City · Thomasville
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

After Failed R-Rating Appeal, Bullying Documentary Will Be Released Unrated

Alex, one of the kids who struggles with bullies in Lee Hirsch's documentary <em>Bully</em>.
Lee Hirsch
The Weinstein Company
Alex, one of the kids who struggles with bullies in Lee Hirsch's documentary Bully.

The documentary Bullywill be released unrated.

The decision from the Weinstein Company comes after a very public appeal for the Motion Picture Association of America to overturn its decision to give the bullying documentary an R-rating, which meant anyone younger than 17 would not be permitted without a parent.

As our friend Linda Holmes wrote over at Monkey See, the documentary is "a truthful portrayal of what is at stake when we talk about bullying and figuring out what to do about kids who are suffering in school." The MPAA cited the film's language as its reasoning for R-rating.

The MPAA's rating has come under attack and inspired a petition signed by members of Congress and delivered to MPAA offices.

The filmmakers have made the case that they want their film to seen by those who it was made for — children.

"The small amount of language in the film that's responsible for the R rating is there because it's real," the film's director Lee Hirsch said in a statement. "It's what the children who are victims of bullying face on most days. All of our supporters see that, and we're grateful for the support we've received across the board."

Hirsch added that now that they've shunned the R-rating from the MPAA, it's up to the movie theaters to let the kids in. The film will be released on March 30.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.