The battle to change the rating for the film “ Bully” was finally won on Thursday when The Weinstein Company announced the powerful documentary will receive a PG-13 rating from the Motion Picture Association of America before its wide release on April 13.
After countless protests from parents, celebrities, and Congress members, and a 500,000 signature Change.org petition, the MPAA agreed to change the rating on the film from R to allow children under the age of 17 to see it without an adult.
High school student Katy Butler, who says she has experienced bullying in her own life, started the Change.org petition. In a press release after the announcement of the lower rating, Butler said, “I wish ‘Bully’ was around when I was in middle school, and experienced some of the worst bullying I could imagine. But it makes me incredibly happy that kids in middle school and high school today will be able to see a film like ‘Bully’ and share that experience with their friends.”
The MPAA originally stood firm on the film’s R rating due to some explicit language that is used in key scenes. The Weinstein Company says that three uses of expletives where removed from the film to garner the less restrictive rating, but that a major scene in the movie -- which was originally at the forefront of the ratings battle -- will be kept unedited.
“Bully” was previously released in limited markets on March 30 without a rating after the MPAA and The Weinstein Company could not reach an agreement.