R-rating prevents kids from seeing anti-bullying documentary

I’m a little late to this story, but there is a new documentary coming out from The Weinstein Company entitled, Bully. While it would seem a movie about the problem of bullying wouldn’t be too controversial given it’s about what kids deal with everyday, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has given it an R rating.

Here’s the problem – kids are the ones who need to see this and an R rating stops it from being played in a lot of schools. It’s rated R for the language, which fails to recognize that every word in this movie has been heard in every high school in America.

The irony here is that the MPAA seems to be trying to protect kids from seeing what bullying looks like while the movie is trying to show the impact of bullying in an effort to elevate efforts to stop it. These kids don’t need to be sheltered – they see it or live it every single day. Looking the other way doesn’t stop kids from bullying, it doesn’t reduce the damage done by those words and actions, and doesn’t stop kids from seeing suicide as a reasonable escape from bullying. Sticking our heads in the sand isn’t the solution (it clearly hasn’t worked so far).

There’s a petition at Change.org that you can sign telling the MPAA to reduce the rating to PG-13. Take a second and sign on and share it.

Here’s the trailer:

Born and raised in Maine, Nick Seaver moved to DC to study political communication in 2003. He began writing extensively on LGBT rights during the first ballot initiative in Maine that overturned marriage equality. He writes about a variety of issues, ranging from marriage to issues facing LGBT youth. Follow him on Twitter at @NDSeaver.

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