Ann Arbor student wants to change 'Bully' movie rating

Katy Butler gains huge online following with petition

By Roger Weber - Reporter

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - A 17-year-old Ann Arbor student has returned home after taking on Hollywood.

Katy Butler objects to the R-rating assigned to the film "Bully," which is scheduled for release later this month.

"It would be such a great tool to fix the bullying problem in the United States.Then it's rated R. That's so counterproductive," Butler said.

She says teens won't want to see the movie if they have to be with their parents. So, she started an online campaign to change the rating to PG-13.

On Wednesday, in California, she presented boxes containing 201,000 names to the Motion Picture Association of America.

Executives there gave no indication they would change their minds.

"All they wanted to do was talk about the rating system and why they wanted to stay consistent," she said.

Still, Butler was thrilled to get a hug from Ellen Degeneres during a taping of her show. On Thursday, more hugs followed from her classmates at Greenhills High School in Ann Arbor.

Butler says she has gained strength from the experience. "It takes courage to tell my story in front of the whole world," she said.

She says she was attending another school when she revealed she is a lesbian. Students called her names and roughed her up physically.

Butler's online supporters have grown to 250,000, as of Thursday evening.

She plans to keep working to change the rating of "Bully," even though it's an uphill fight.

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