Bully! Weinsteins can’t stop the MPAA from taunting them with R-rating

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

The Weintein Company recently got mad at the MPAA for slamming its anti-bullying doc BULLY with an R-Rating, effectively banning it from the kids who should see it most. The reason for the rating is of course foul language- you can’t have bullying without some cursing, after all. But the Weinstein Company has decided not to take the rating standing down and Harvey released the following statement, calling upon the power of celebrity:

As of today, The Weinstein Company is considering a leave of absence from the MPAA for the foreseeable future. We respect the MPAA and their process but feel this time it has just been a bridge too far.


I have been through many of these appeals, but this one vote loss is a huge blow to me personally. Alex Libby gave an impassioned plea and eloquently defended the need for kids to be able to see this movie on their own, not with their parents, because that is the only way to truly make a change.

With school-age children of my own, I know this is a crucial issue and school districts across the U.S. have responded in kind. The Cincinnati school district signed on to bus 40,000 of their students to the movie – but because the appeals board retained the R rating, the school district will have to cancel those plans.

I personally am going to ask celebrities and personalities worldwide, from Lady Gaga (who has a foundation of her own) to the Duchess of Cambridge (who was a victim of bullying and donated wedding proceeds) to First Lady Michelle Obama (whose foundation has reached out to us as well), to take a stand with me in eradicating bullying and getting the youth into see this movie without restriction.


Of course, one big issue with this statement is that the Weinstein Company isn’t a member of the MPAA, so who knows what that MPAA thing means- possibly that they’ll release all their next films unrated? We’ll see how that works for them.

The MPAA mulled over it and then released this statement, in which it stands by its decision.


“Bullying is a serious issue and is a subject that parents should discuss with their children. The MPAA agrees with the Weinstein Company that Bully can serve as a vehicle for such important discussions.

The MPAA also has the responsibility, however, to acknowledge and represent the strong feedback from parents throughout the country who want to be informed about content in movies, including language.

The rating and rating descriptor of ‘some language,’ indicate to parents that this movie contains certain language. With that, some parents may choose to take their kids to this movie and others may not, but it is their choice and not ours to make for them. The R rating is not a judgment on the value of any movie. The rating simply conveys to parents that a film has elements strong enough to require careful consideration before allowing their children to view it. Once advised, many parents may take their kids to see an R-rated film. School districts, similarly, handle the determination of showing movies on a case-by-case basis and have their own guidelines for parental approval.”

That’s from Joan Graves, chair of the association’s Classification and Rating Administration. Now that the film seems locked into the rating, the only question now is if TWC will release it with the rating, or without. 

Source: Deadline

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