|Bullying film gets PG rating in Canada|
Canadians, it turns out, aren’t as easily offended as Americans.|
For weeks a feud has been brewing in the United States between in-your-face film distributor Harvey Weinstein and the Motion Picture Association of America, which slapped an R-rating on the documentary Bully because of coarse language.
Weinstein (who has promoted Oscar-winning films such as Shakespeare in Love) rarely shies from a good fight. And he’s spitting mad at the MPAA for giving Lee Hirsch’s thought-provoking film – which follows five high-school students whose lives are made a living hell by bullies – a rating that prohibits kids in the U.S. from seeing a movie aimed specifically at them, unless they’re accompanied by a parent or guardian.
But this week, Canada took its own stand: Ontario and Manitoba joined British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Alberta (where ratings were given out last week) in granting Bully PG-status. Not surprisingly, the move was applauded by Hirsch, who believes bullying has reached a crisis point in America.
An online petition started by a U.S. high school student – and supported by daytime talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees as well as by Ask Chad – now has almost 300,000 signatures, including 20 from members of Congress who say the documentary should be accessible to “teenagers in this country who are tormented, harassed, and bullied by their peers.”
The Weinstein Co. is making plans to release a tweaked version of the documentary that will earn it a PG-13…
The new cut of the teen-bullying film, which would minimize in some manner the profanities featured in a controversial schoolbus scene, would hit theaters April 13, when the movie widens to 25 markets…
How the tweaks would be made remains unclear… (Filmmakers cannot simply bleep obscenities for a lower rating; the MPAA typically treats even bleeped words as profanities.) The MPAA is concerned over the use of the F-word six times in the movie. Use of the F-word results in an R-rating in the U.S.
While the US PG loosely suggests material suitable for anyone 9 years of age and older, Canada’s PG is defined like this: “Parental guidance advised. There is no age restriction but some material may not be suitable for all children.” Just to be clear, in Canada There is no age restriction.
Bully opens April 6.