MPAA Bully Movie R Rating: No disaster for the producers or kids

The movie, Bully, gets free nationwide publicity.
~ Photo from STN.
By James Kraemer

A crowd rampaged across America over the Motion Picture Association of America's  R rating of the documentary, Bully.

Canada's film review board gave the movie a more lenient 'PG' rating.

Web pages and forums promoting the movie, included using the MPAA R rating as some sort of declaration of war on the MPAA, which actually seems to have been a Godsend of free nationwide publicity for both the movie and for the MPAA.

If the current crowd mentality goes on much longer we could see some sort of Occupy the MPAA’s Headquarters in Washington DC.

Claims of conspiracy at the MPAA trumpet through forums, that the rating of the Bully movie may mark the end of the MPAA. And, oh my, the ‘R’ rating means kids that really need to see the video will not get too. Really?

Seems everything bad that can happen in the world will happen because the MPAA would not change the rating, everything short of the MPAA causing the end of the world (Armageddon) to arrive sooner than it would have had it not been for the evil nemeses, the folks at MPAA.

Can not find much issue with the MPAA rating myself. What is obvious is that certainly trash-mouth kids and some adults when triggered can rebel against most any social norm expectation. With eyes wide open and wide-awake, I continue not see any conspiracy at the MPAA.

Whatever the rating the film is obviously a documentary. To pretty it up to get a 'PG' rating would be a politically correct method that I'm adequately against. Even the caps 'FU', a beep, or the offensive word replaced with 'Frac' would be inadequate toward the usage of language tied to the behavior the film presents.

A rating seems might be missing for the style of film Bully represents, a reality education in the form of a documentary presenting what bullying really can do to the anomalies targets. 'Adult Guidance' (AG) would seem an appropriate rating for this type of documentary, although ‘PG’ should be adequate.

Hollywood has produced movies that present an excellent documentary within a fantasy setting. Bridge To Terabithia (2007), is an excellent movie for elementary children classrooms that was made in Hollywood. The movie remains a great movie and teaching tool. No swearing, no nudity:

I would like to watch CSI and other entertainment crime time TV shows take this issue on in a few of their episodes. Bully websites are loaded with content that could present a shocking education in a variety of settings, perhaps in the process help demonstrate the violence bullies promote.

Whatever the outcome, stop worrying. The movie Bully will likely go viral and soon be available on the Internet and on every kind of electronic media device out there. Keep in mind that underneath all the promoting, the movie remains a profit machine. Any rational producer in Hollywood and some not very rational producers want the same thing. Simply to make as much money as possible before mass access to their movie happens at lower or no profit margin.

Churning the soup over the ‘R’ rating certainly brought lots of free publicity, drew the crowds and helped up the profit early on. The 'pissing match' that went on between the Weinstein Company and the MPAA served well for social exposure from both sides of this issue.

I’m convinced most of us, including targets of bullies can manage until the movie is available on various devices for a buck or less.

If you just can't wait at least ease up on the conspiracy theories - seems so juvenile. Simply do the usual that kids are famous for and go see the movie.

  • Update: 'Bully’ Movie Rating Change: ‘We Thought We Could Win’ Lee Hirsch's documentary "Bully" will open in select U.S. theaters without a rating, after the Weinstein Co. failed to persuade the Motion Picture Association of America to overturn the R rating it initially assigned in favor of a PG-13.
  • Stopping Violence on School Buses: Not an Easy Task but One that Can be Accomplished  - It is not possible to stop all violence, but it is possible to greatly reduce violence, to reduce specific effects on the targets, to promote the well-behaved having the run, and to contain the violent with a controlled persistence that exceeds a child’s out of control persistence. Link.
"Now comes word that the targets of workplace torment aren’t the only casualties of the phenomenon: A new study by Canadian researchers, published in the most recent issue of the journal Human Relations, suggests that co-workers who witness bullying are also traumatized by the phenomenon—and are as likely as victims themselves to look for a new job."

Glad this is finally recognized. So odd the demand from politicians for schools to solve bullying when it can not be solved where the staff is bullying each other. Schools now have anti-bullying policies for the schoolplace but nothing for the workplace. No state at this country, and after a decade and a half effort from Dr. Gary Namie (Workplace Bullying Institute) has a workplace stop bullying law.

Bully Poster - Link

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