The MPAA has finally decided to lower the rating for Lee Hirsch’s documentary film Bully from R to PG-13, independent American film studio The Weinstein Company has announced.
The regulatory body’s decision to reduce the rating follows the dropping of three uses of the “f-word” in the film.
Even so, the main scene of argument between the MPAA and Weinstein, which shows Alex Libby being bossed around and pestered on a bus, remained unedited and uncut.
The organization gave a go-ahead signal for the newly rated film to release even before 90 days, the time needed to wait for films with new ratings to screen in theaters “to avoid confusion or inconvenience for moviegoers”, as policy dictates.
Consequently, Bully will spread out to 55 more markets starting April 13 with its new rating, a great improvement from its past weekend opening in New York and Los Angeles despite being unrated.
The new rating gives academic institutions license to share the film for educational purposes.
“I feel completely vindicated with this resolution,” said Hirsch in a statement. “While I retain my belief that PG-13 has always been the appropriate rating for this film, as reinforced by Canada’s rating of a PG, we have today scored a victory from the MPAA. The support and guidance we have received throughout this process has been incredible, from the more than half a million people who signed Katy Butler’s petition, to members of Congress, Governor Mike Huckabee and the many celebrities and others who raised their voices to express deeply felt support for a film that can inspire millions. The scene that mattered remains untouched and intact, which is a true sign that we have won this battle. With an array of great partners, a fabulous educator’s guide and extensive online tools, we can now bring this film unhindered, to youth and adults across our country.”