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Entertainment News: AMC To Let Kids Into Unrated Doc 'Bully'

The documentary "Bully."
The Weinstein Company
The documentary "Bully."

But Only With Permission Slips From Parents

The documentary "Bully" (which opens in select theaters in San Diego on April 13) has been drawing a lot of attention over its R-rating.

Lee Hirsch's documentary "Bully" deals with the issue of bullying among kids. The fact that it received an R-rating (mostly for language) has prompted criticism because it is keeping kids out that might benefit from seeing the film. Here is the trailer:

"Bully" Trailer

The Weinstein Company, which is distributing the film, appealed the rating and sent this statement out earlier this week:

After a recent plea to the MPAA by "Bully" teen Alex Libby and The Weinstein Company (TWC) Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein failed – by one vote – to get the film its deserved PG-13 rating, TWC is choosing to move forward with releasing the film unrated by the MPAA on March 30.

Furthering proof that the R rating for some language is inappropriate for a film that’s meant to educate and help parents, teachers, school officials and children with what’s become an epidemic in schools around the country, the fight against the rating continues on. The outpour of support by politicians, schools, parents, celebrities and activists for the film’s mission to be seen by those it was made for – children – has been overwhelming. Nearly half a million people have signed Michigan high school student and former bullying victim Katy Butler’s petition on to urge the MPAA to lower the rating.

Said "Bully" Director Lee Hirsch, “The small amount of language in the film that’s responsible for the R rating is there because it’s real. It’s what the children who are victims of bullying face on most days. All of our supporters see that, and we’re grateful for the support we’ve received across the board. I know the kids will come, so it’s up to the theaters to let them in.”
But now AMC Theaters is defying the MPAA and has decided to allow kids with permission slips from parents in to see the movie.

The film opens nationwide on March 30th but will not open in San Diego until April 13th. Kudos to AMC for challenging a rating system that has been frequently criticized for its erratic and sometimes arbitrary ratings. The documentary, "This Film is Not Yet Rated," attempted to look at the process by which ratings are determined and at who actually sits on the rating board.