Documentary ‘Bully’ Finally Wins PG-13 Rating


The Bully saga feels like a long one, but Deadline is reporting that a final decision about the documentary’s unrated/R-rating debacle has come to an end. The new film directed by Lee Hirsch about bullying in schools has won a PG-13 rating after an agreement between The Weinstein Company and the MPAA.

Initially the MPAA board wanted to slam a big “R” on the movie due to scenes of objectionable language and an intense moment that shows bullies in action. Hirsch refused to edit the crucial scene, and more than half a million people signed a petition further declaring that no one under 17-years-old would be able to see the film (its target/most relevant audience) with the scarlet letter attached to it. Weinstein eventually announced a decision to go with no rating, preventing the film from getting wide distribution.

What changed the board’s mind? Deadline shares that “three uses of the ‘F word’ were removed from other scenes, which ultimately persuaded the MPAA to lower the rating. Hirsch shared his feelings on the case. “The scene that mattered remains untouched and intact, which is a true sign that we have won this battle. With an array of great partners, a fabulous educator’s guide and extensive online tools, we can now bring this film unhindered, to youth and adults across our country.” Read the full, victorious story on Deadline for more info. Bully plays at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 13.