MPAA Grants 'Bully' a PG-13 Rating Following Petition and Changes

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By Erin Rook, PQ Monthly
  Bully, the 2011 documentary film about bullying in U.S. schools, has finally succeeded in securing a PG-13 rating from the MPAA after a highly publicized Change.org petition and PSA series put out by GLAAD. The MPAA initially gave the film, which includes candid interview with bullied youth, an R rating due to language. In protest of the association's refusal to change the rating (which prevented youth from seeing the film without an adult chaperone), the distributor released the film March 30 without a rating (limiting its distribution to independent theaters will to show an unrated film). The new rating comes following the removal of some of the offending language, without losing a scene GLAAD calls "particularly powerful and important:"
In a press release, distributor The Weinstein Company lauded the MPAA's decision, calling it a victory "for the parents, educators, lawmakers, and most importantly, children, everywhere who have been fighting for months for the appropriate PG-13 rating without cutting some of the most sensitive moments." GLAAD's spokesperson Herndon Graddick, said "This new PG-13 rating is a tremendous step forward for continuing the national conversation around bullying with the audience that needs to take part in it the most: our nation's youth.  The MPAA did the right thing in granting the new rating and for recognizing Bully's real potential as a tool for sparking dialogue and creating positive change for better safety in our schools."
 The film will reach 55 markets with the PG-13 rating on April 13. Watch the trailer below.
  Erin Rook is a staff writer for PQ Monthly. Erin can be reached at erin@pqmonthly.com.