The “Bully” Rating Controversy: Is It A Marketing Ploy? Does That Matter?
Bully, a documentary focusing on peer-to-peer bullying in schools, opens tomorrow, and has recently found controversy when it came time for the MPAA to give it a rating. It’s a film focusing on a serious social problem for kids, that really should be seen by kids, but because of the use of the F-word, was handed an “R” rating. In protest, the Weinstein Company declined the rating, choosing to instead release it into theaters without any rating at all.
But is it just a marketing ploy? We had Mr. Moviefone himself, Russ Leatherman, on the phone this morning to discuss the movie and Russ’ own experience with bullies.
Is it really that important to include a couple of F-bombs in the movie? Russ brought up the point that if the filmmakers had just “bleeped” the words, the movie would’ve easily achieved the PG-13 rating, making it more accessible to the audience that it’s aimed for.
— Kristen Bell(@IMKristenBell) March 27, 2012
He believes it’s a way the Weinstein Company is attempting to drum up more publicity for the movie, but not necessarily a bad thing. Russ told us his own personal experience with bullying, which was being tormented as a Californian surfer kid in a small Wyoming town. He has already seen the movie, and believes anyone who has children needs to see this with them, and discuss afterward.
An unrated movie usually means “off-limits” to anyone underage, but the AMC theater chain will be treating it as an R-rated movie, meaning parents will be able to take kids. As an added way to give access to children, parents can sign a permission slip that allows their kid to see it without them present.
Check out the trailer below, do you plan on taking your kids to see this?