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Thousands Petition to Overturn 'Bully' R Rating

Thousands Petition to Overturn 'Bully' R Rating

Should Lee Hirsch‘s documentary Bully be rated PG-13 instead of R?

More than 100,000 people think so and have signed an online petition urging the Motion Picture Association of America to change its rating – so that the demographic who needs to see the film can actually watch it.

“I can’t believe the MPAA is blocking millions of teenagers from seeing a movie that could change – and, in some cases, save – their lives. According to the film’s website, over 13 million kids will be bullied this year alone. Think of how many of these kids could benefit from seeing this film, especially if it is shown in schools?” Katy Butler, the Michigan high school student who started the petition, says on its website.

The National Association of Theatre Owners has since fired back and even threatened to urge its members to consider the film – which centers around the challenges faced by high school kids who suffer from incessant teasing – NC-17.

FYI: New statistics show that every seven minutes, someone is bullied on school grounds. Nearly 18 million children are bullied each year – that’s 1 out of 4 teens, and 9 out of 10 LGBT students experience harassment at school and online.

For more info and to watch the film’s trailer, check out You can also sign the petition at

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Posted to: Bully

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  • jayjay

    I’m not familiar with the National Association of Theatre Owners but why do they think they should have a say in the rating of the film? And what exactly were their reasons for wanting a film about teen bullying to be rated NC-17? Seems a little….incredibly stupid if you ask me.

  • tara

    It’s hard to say anything when I haven’t seen the film.
    I don’t know what’s in it.
    But I think it’s important for kids to be able to see a film about bullying.

  • Jean

    The R rating doesn’t make any sense. It’s aimed at teenager and it for their benefit. These fossils at the MPAA need to have an open mind.

  • Mrs_Fuzzybee

    I usually always refuse to sign petitions (for my own personal reasons) BUT I signed this one.

    The MPAA made a mistake. They need to hear from the public at large that they should reconsider the R rating and give it the PG-13. It’s a very reasonable request.

  • yep

    Just went over and saw the trailer. Looks like it should be a film requirement for school to show it’s students.


    First off, Weinstein should have known the rules. Any f word will cause an r rating if uttered more than once. Beep it, silence it, cut out the profanity. The message won’t be loss if it is more than just the profanity. This is a cheap marketing ploy to get the film attention. Kids need to see it, it’s a film about and for them!!!! Yeah right, they knew about the rules, knew the consequences. These are not noob producers. Cut or censor it if it is so important to them.
    Don’t let cinema erode the standard of decency or it’ll be a wide open flood gate where okay films also get the go ahead because it was also written for kids!!!

  • melissa

    It should be PG-13 and shown at EVERY school. I was bullied terribly in school and I wish this movie was out then.

  • d

    if they want the MPPA

  • d

    if they want the MPAA to give the film PG-13 then they should reduce the amount of the full frontal nudity and graphic sex scenes that were some times unnecessary,
    i mean if its aimed at 12 or 13 years old to watch it, then it should not be that pornographic, deleting few of these sex scenes will not make the film less realistic,
    just saying i kind of understand where the MPAA are coming from

  • Don’t think so!!!

    Okay so the bullying part maybe a good message for teens to see but exposing them to inappropriate scenes of sex, bad language, underage drinking and/or drug use is not necessary. If you are targeting young people then make it age appropriate for them. Don’t make a film saying it’s wrong to bully but okay to expose them to other potential dangerous situations as well as breaking the law. Hollywood is full of twisted minds and perverts. I would hesitate to look to them to educate my children on any subject by these people!