February 23, 2012 at 7:07 pm #55775
And in what could be great news for future Oscar competitions ol’ Harv is going to take his ball and go home, as in leave the MPAA:
The Weinstein Company lost an appeal this morning to have the MPAA rating of its upcoming documentary Bully changed from R to PG-13, the studio announced. The film, about the epidemic of adolescent bullying in America, was rated R for “some language.”
TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein and one of the bullied children in the film, Alex Libby delivered statements to the MPAA’s Classification and Rating Appeals Board today, arguing that an R rating would prevent Bully from reaching the adolescent audience that would most benefit from the movie. (The studio was planning on screening the documentary at various middle and high schools.) However, for an MPAA rating to be overturned, a two-thirds vote is required – and Bully was one vote short.
Following the decision, Weinstein released a statement saying that TWC is considering a leave of absence from the MPAA for the foreseeable future. “We respect the MPAA and their process but feel this time it has just been a bridge too far,” said Weinstein. “I have been through many of these appeals, but this one vote loss is a huge blow to me personally. Alex Libby gave an impassioned plea and eloquently defended the need for kids to be able to see this movie on their own, not with their parents, because that is the only way to truly make a change.”
In 2010, TWC won an appeal for the sexually explicit Blue Valentine, changing the movie’s rating from NC-17 to R. But with Bully losing its appeal, the studio has a few options to choose from. TWC could reedit the movie or mute the more offensive instances of profanity — the latter path was taken by TWC when it opted to release a PG-13 version of The King’s Speech after it won Best Picture last year. Or TWC could leave the MPAA, opening up the possibility of releasing Bully without an official rating. That course of action, however, could limit the amount of theaters that the documentary (and potentially future TWC titles) plays in.February 23, 2012 at 7:10 pm #55777
This has absolutely nothing to do with the Weinstein Company’s future Oscar chances, except maybe improve them as most people are on his side. The MPAA and AMPAS are totally separate organizations.
You have topped yourself in your ridiculous obsession, which is an incredible achievement.February 23, 2012 at 7:11 pm #55778
MPAA’s official response from Joan Graves, president of its Classification and Ratings branch: “Bullying is a serious issue and is a
subject that parents should discuss with their children. The MPAA
agrees with the Weinstein Company that Bully can serve as a vehicle
for such important discussions. The MPAA also has the responsibility,
however, to acknowledge and represent the strong feedback from
parents throughout the country who want to be informed about content
in movies, including language.
“The rating and rating descriptor of
‘some language,’ indicate to parents that this movie contains
certain language. With that, some parents may choose to take their
kids to this movie and others may not, but it is their choice and not
ours to make for them. The R rating is not a judgment on the value of
any movie. The rating simply conveys to parents that a film has
elements strong enough to require careful consideration before
allowing their children to view it. Once advised, many parents may
take their kids to see an R-rated film. School districts, similarly,
handle the determination of showing movies on a case-by-case basis
and have their own guidelines for parental approval.”February 23, 2012 at 7:12 pm #55779
It was tongue in cheek, nothing more.February 23, 2012 at 7:12 pm #55780
Also, it is not uncommon for certains docs, indie films and especially foreign language films to go without an MPAA rating. Usually it is because of lack of funds. This issue is completely unrelated to the Oscars.February 23, 2012 at 7:18 pm #55781
I actually agree with Weinstein on this one, even if I think his decision is a bit too extreme. The MPAA’s rating system seems to have become too arcaic. “Bad language” does not represent what makes a content inappropriate for aparticular audience. Even though I know he’s clearly making this decision based on more than ethics and artistic merit, but I do hope this leads to some discussion on how outdated the ratings have become.February 23, 2012 at 7:32 pm #55782
Does anybody’s head blow up in “Bully”? Any physical, or verbal violence? That should pass for PG 13 no problem.February 23, 2012 at 8:17 pm #55783
OK, a-holes…OK. Won’t win that fight, so moving on.
Why even go through the MPAA? Why not just submit it to high schools and let principals make the call on it?February 23, 2012 at 8:27 pm #55784
Leave it to the MPAA and their backwards ass views on life to consider “some language” R worthy.February 23, 2012 at 9:43 pm #55785
It’s both scary and depressing for me thinking about it. I wonder where the pressure is coming from? (coughtherightwingcough)February 23, 2012 at 10:01 pm #55786
The pressure isn’t coming from the right-wing per se. But it is related to that.
With all the issues the MPAA ratings system has, it has been an enormous success. Most of you weren’t born before its existence, but what it did was replace censor boards that rated (and sometimes banned and edited) films in different cities and states across the country. When content started getting more adult in the late 1960s, the ratings managed to successfully put all of these out of business.
We are now in a period when no one can ban and censor movies in general release. But there is nothing from stopping local authorities from imposing their own ratings for minors.
That is what the MPAA fears – if they let down their accepted and successful standards in regards to issues like language, they fear that the whole wide right wing cabal will come down on them and certain states and cities will start putting on their own ratings, undermine 40+ years of keeping that under control.
And if it came with a movie challenging bullying – which has been defended by some right-wingers as natural among kids, and appropriate when aimed at young gays, the chances are that making an exception for this film could indeed cause an uproar that would end up with Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum leading the attack against them.
As for why don’t schools show it anyway – most US school districts have rules that R rated films can never, ever be shown to students. So if it is R rated, end of story – it won’t be.
I totally get the reasons why this upsets people, and to a real extent I agree. But the MPAA has every reason to worry that making a significant exception could lead to the unraveling of something that overall has worked and has kept worse problems from happening.February 23, 2012 at 10:10 pm #55787
The thing is…I don’t see this film making a ton of money at the box office, whether it’s rated R or PG-13. With that said, they mention that they want it shown in elementary, middle and high schools. It’s been six years since I graduated high school but the way things were done then was if a teacher wanted to show a PG-13 or R-rated film, a permission-slip had to be taken home, the parent or guardian would sign it then the student would take it back. Once the slips were back, the film would be shown. I believe one student had a mom with a real stick up her ass and wouldn’t let her child watch anything beyond Disney. In cases like this, the student wasn’t reprimanded and got to sit in with another class while the film was being show.
Again, considering what they want to do with this film, what does it matter what it’s rated? They’re wanting to bring the film into schools, not have schools go into the film.
-MorganFebruary 23, 2012 at 10:12 pm #55788
But again Morgan, and you cite a case where your school got around it, but most big school districts won’t show R rated fllms, period, or allow special showings at theaters where kids are bused in. That’s the problem the film faces.February 23, 2012 at 10:39 pm #55789
ugh……. such a bummer, i was hoping MPAA would really consider the fact that young kids NEED to see this film, but of course not. This almost defeats the purpose of the film, if its intended target age group cant even see it WTF. The Weinstein Co tried their best to actually do some good for the world but clearly the MPAA are run by a bunch of idiots.
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