The Weinstein Company scores PG-13 rating for 'Bully'

Film company says it removed 3 uses of an expletive to earn rating

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LOS ANGELES - The Weinstein Co. said Thursday an edited version of the film "Bully" will be released across the U.S. on April 13 with a PG-13 rating.

The Motion Picture Association of America initially gave the film an R rating for language, meaning kids under 17 were restricted from seeing it without an accompanying adult.

The MPAA declined to change the rating when The Weinstein Co. appealed. The company released the film March 30 in limited release without a rating.
"Bully," directed by Lee Hirsch, is an examination of school bullying that follows five kids over the course of a school year.
The Weinstein Co. said three uses of an expletive were removed to earn the PG-13 rating.

"I feel completely vindicated with this resolution," Hirsch said in a statement. "While I retain my belief that PG-13 has always been the appropriate rating for this film, as reinforced by Canada's rating of a PG, we have today scored a victory from the MPAA."

Hirsch initially declined to edit the documentary's offensive language because it would diminish the painful reality of bullying.

The Weinstein Co. later decided to resubmit a new version of "Bully," and the MPAA ratings board gave it a PG-13 for intense thematic material, disturbing content and some strong language -- all involving kids, Joan Graves, chairman of the classification and rating administration, said in a statement.

"The ratings system has worked exactly as it is supposed to," she said. "Parents have been kept informed of the content of each version of the film, and they have been given the information they need to make movie-going decisions on behalf of their kids."

The ruling ends a month long dispute between The Weinstein Co. and the MPAA over the rating.

Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees were among the celebrity supporters of the film.

Michigan teen takes on Hollywood

A 17-year-old Ann Arbor student, unhappy with the movie's original R-rating went to California to deliver more than 200,000 names from her online campaign to the

Motion Picture Association of America.

Katy Butler objected to the R-rating because she said teen's won't want to see he movie if they have to be with a parents.

"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, in an earlier interview with Local 4.

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.

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.

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