LOS ANGELES — After weeks of conflict with the Motion Picture Association of America, the controversial film “Bully” will be released with a PG-13 rating, in time for the film’s April 13 expansion to 55 markets, according to an announcement by the Weinstein Company, the film’s distributor.
A spokesman at Weinstein said that it would re-edit the film and remove of the movie’s six “f— words,” which he sad, “do not involve a key scene in which teenager Alex Libby was verbally harassed on a school bus.”
“The scene that has been at the forefront of the battle with the MPAA, the intense scene in the film that shows teen Alex Libby being bullied and harassed on a bus, has been left fully intact and unedited,” according to a statement by the Weinstein Company.
“‘Bully’ director Lee Hirsch felt editing the scene was not an option, and subsequently refused to do so, since it is too important to the truth and integrity behind the film.
“Also a victory is the exception the MPAA made by allowing the film to be released with the new rating before 90 days, which is the length of time their policy states a film must wait to be in theaters after a rating change to avoid confusion or inconvenience for moviegoers.”
The decision by the MPAA is a victory for the parents, educators, lawmakers, and children everywhere who have been fighting for months for the appropriate PG-13 rating without cutting some of the most sensitive moments.
Hirsch said he made the documentary with the intent to give an uncensored, real-life portrayal of what 13 million bullied children suffer through every year.
In a recent interview with the McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Hirsch made no apologies for the film’s heart wrenching honesty.
“It’s very different from the days when ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ was dealing with it, and yet bullying is still the same. What’s changing are attitudes about it. In the past, my father was saying, ‘That’s life, kid. Suck it up. Stand up for yourself.’ The sense was that this was a rite of passage. People are challenging that,” Hirsch said.
“Bully” is scheduled to open nationwide on April 13th.
Following is the trailer: