Distributor the Weinstein Co. has agreed to re-cut its currently unrated documentary film Bully in exchange for a PG-13 rating from the Motion Picture Association of America. The rating change, which ends weeks of controversy, will allow children under 17 to see the film without parental permission and allow it to be screened in schools. The Los Angeles Times reports:
The new cut of the Lee Hirsch film makes some concessions to the MPAA: It removes an obscenity that begins with the prefix “mother” in an early scene, along with two other quickly uttered F-words. Audio will be dropped out in all three instances.
But the new cut leaves intact a controversial scene on a school bus in which three F-words are used against a bullied child. The case now represents an exception to the MPAA’s rules; the group typically will impose an R rating on any film with more than two F-words.
The Weinstein Co. issued a press release calling the agreement “a huge 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.”
Bully opened as unrated last weekend in five theaters in L.A. and New York City. It will open in 55 additional markets April 13, including Dallas, as a PG-13 film. Bully is scheduled to show at the Angelika theaters in Dallas and Plano.