The Weinstein's aren't going down without a fight, they want a PG-13 rating for their documentary "Bully". The problem is that the MPAA says the movie deserves the R-Rating it was given and they have no plans to change it. However, this isn't stopping them from gaining support from some pretty big names from within, and outside the industry.
Academy Award winning actress Meryl Streep, along with her daughter Mamie Gummer, will co-host a screening of the film with attorney David Boies, who was partly responsible overturning Proposition 8 in California. The screening is being setup for New York City, details of the screening are forthcoming.
Just last week we saw Anderson Cooper and Kelly Ripa co-anchor a screening of the film in New York City, which was presented by Bing. In addition to that screening, Bing also has plans of hosting an additional screening in LA. Johnny Depp has even thrown in his support for the film, it's unclear what he has planned in regards to his support for the film or if he has plans on hosting a screening.
In a clear victory for the "Bully" cause, Gerry Lopez, CEO of AMC Theaters, one of the biggest theater chains in the world, spoke out against the R-Rating the movie was awarded by the MPAA, by saying, "To ‘automatically default’ BULLY is a mistake. Automatic default to a rating, a category, a genre… doesn’t matter, is a mistake. The message, the movie and its social relevance defy that kind of formulaic, conventional thinking. AMC will show this movie, and we invite our guests to engage in the dialogue its relevant message will inevitably provoke."
Ellen DeGeneres, a huge supporter of the film, devoted some time during an episode of her talk show for interviewing Kay Butler, the teenager who started the petition urging the MPAA to lower their rating of "Bully" from R to PG-13.
This past Friday, Justin Bieber joined the cause, telling his fans via Twitter about the movie and encouraging them to stand up for one another. To help the cause further, Bieber is currently working with The Weinstein Company on what he can do for the film.
#BULLY movie. really intense. really powerful. we need to stand up for eachotherjust watched the
American clothing designer Tommy Hilfiger is in the works of designing an exclusive t-shirt, based of the movie poster, which will be sold at his stores with a portion of the proceeds going to Facing History and Ourselves. Hilfiger is the first of ten designers that The Weinstein Company plans to ask to donate their time and services for fundraising efforts. Iconic photographer David LaChapelle has also offered his talents towards an advertising campaign for the film.
The "Bully" cause is even spreading to our nations capital now as over 20 members of Congress have signed on the the bipartisan letter, to the MPAA, which was drafted by Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.). The letter is urges former Senator Chris Dodd, now Chairman of the MPAA, to overturn their initial rating of the film. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has called for a PG-13 rating via Twitter, and has told The Weinstein Company she plans to be more active in her protest of the MPAA's rating.
If you'd like to find out more about the documentary "Bully", you can find the official synopsis of the film below along with the films trailer.
Directed by Sundance and Emmy-award winning filmmaker, Lee Hirsch, The Bully Project is a beautifully cinematic, character-driven documentary. At its heart are those with huge stakes in this issue whose stories each represent a different facet of Americas bullying crisis. The Bully Project follows five kids and families over the course of a school year. Stories include two families who have lost children to suicide and a mother awaiting the fate of her 14-year-old daughter who has been incarcerated after bringing a gun on her school bus. With an intimate glimpse into homes, classrooms, cafeterias and principals offices, the film offers insight into the often cruel world of the lives of bullied children. As teachers, administrators, kids and parents struggle to find answers, The Bully Project examines the dire consequences of bullying through the testimony of strong and courageous youth. Through the power of their stories, the film aims to be a catalyst for change in the way we deal with bullying as parents, teachers, children and society as a whole.
Do you think the MPAA will ever change the rating of "Bully"? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below.
If you wish to sign the petition, which has nearly 300,000 signatures, you can do so here.