So there’s this documentary called Bully coming out that depicts how badly teens and preteens are harassed in school. Obviously, it sounds like a real downer but with the amount of suicides that have taken place over the past few years there’s really no denying that it’s a serious issue. The creators of Bully documented their subjects’ day from getting on the bus in the morning to unwinding after the school day and apparently they’ve put together some sobering, tough to watch footage.
Unfortunately the doc is only getting a limited release because the MPAA won’t budge on the R rating they gave the film. Now, there are good reasons for a ratings system in movies. Parents want to know what their kids are watching and if they don’t want little Johnny to hear swear words then little Johnny shouldn’t see those movies. Fine. But in this case, the MPAA is failing the exact people they’re trying to protect.
Like I said, Bully is a documentary about kids in middle school and high school. It’s rated R to protect high school kids from language high school kids use. No one thinks high school is like Glee, so why is there this charade to pretend that high school kids can’t handle watching kids swear or punch other kids onscreen? They see it everyday. If anything, they should have to watch it so they see the kind of damage that can be done to kids that are gay, skinny, or just different.
There’s an excellent documentary from 2006 called This Film is Not Yet Rated that goes into how the MPAA works. The director shows movie clips with heinous violence next to scenes that depict simple acts of same sex affection and then the MPAA rating the movie received. This Film is Not Yet Rated also tries to interview people who serve on the MPAA rating board, revealing that it’s shrouded in secrecy. Why? Members of the Supreme Court give a deposition after every ruling but the person who gave Shrek a PG has to remain anonymous?
That documentary is available on Instant Netflix, but you can also watch the whole thing on YouTube. Here’s the first couple minutes:
Clearly, it’s time someone finally calls bullshit, which the Weinstein company did today. The heavy hitters behind Bully announced they’ll be releasing the movie on March 30th without an MPAA rating, which is freaking awesome. The Internet is slowly killing the way movies are released and hopefully the MPAA dies along with it. Instead of recognizing how important Bully could will be, they chose to try to bury it because of a few teenage F-bombs. Good riddance.