The Weinstein Company insists to release its controversial documentary, "Bully", in the U.S. theaters as an unrated film amid its protracted rating dispute with the MPAA. The studio announced on Monday, March 26 that it has received supports from multiple parties to release the film in the U.S. theaters on March 30 without being rated by the MPAA.
Lee Hirsch, who helmed the much-talked-about documentary, said, "The small amount of language in the film that's responsible for the R rating is there because it's real." He added, "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 the theaters to let them in."
Weinstein's President of Marketing, Stephen Bruno, added in a statement, "The kids and families in this film are true heroes, and we believe theater owners everywhere will step up and do what's right for the benefit of all of the children out there who have been bullied or may have otherwise become bullies themselves. We're working to do everything we can to make this film available to as many parents, teachers and students across the country."
"Bully" was acquired by The Weinstein Company at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. After losing an appeal to secure a "PG13" rating in February this year, Weinstein threatened to leave the MPAA and organized petition signature drives by student to put pressure on the MPAA. The effort to lower the film's R rating is also supported by a number of celebrities including Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, Demi Lovato, Ellen DeGeneres and Justin Bieber.
The movie itself centers on five kids and families over the course of a school year. Stories include two families who have lost children to suicide and a mother awaiting the fate of her 14-year-old daughter who has been incarcerated after bringing a gun on her school bus. With an intimate glimpse into homes, classrooms, cafeterias and principals offices, the film offers insight into the often cruel world of the lives of bullied children.