March 2nd, 2012 16:57 EST
135,000 Sign Petition for Changing 'R` Rating on the Film 'Bully`
More than 135,000 people have joined a bullied high school student`s explosive campaign on Change.org urging the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to change the rating of the new film Bully from `R ` to `PG-13`.
"Our film closes with a powerful call-to-action from a father, David Long, whose son Tyler took his life after years of relentless bullying," said Lee Hirsch, the documentary`s producer and director. He says, `Everything starts with one. One by one, two by two, and eventually, we have an army that can defeat anything.` Katy Butler has inspired just that. Her courage and the incredible outpouring of support for this campaign are truly extraordinary."
Katy Butler, a high school student from Michigan, launched her campaign on Change.org after the MPAA rejected by one vote an appeal by The Weinstein Company to lower the rating of their film Bully to `PG-13`. Butler, who endured brutal bullying in middle school, says that by maintaining an `R` rating, the MPAA is essentially banning the film from those who need to see it most: bullies and bully victims in schools across the country.
"Millions of students are bullied in schools across America each year," said Butler, a junior at Greenhills High School who launched the campaign on Change.org. And by refusing to change the film`s rating to PG-13, the MPAA is acting like a bully, too. This film could literally save lives, but with its current rating, bullies and bully victims won`t even get to see it."
When pressed to comment yesterday on criticism that an `R` rating would prevent students from seeing the film, the MPAA directed reporters to a blog post by Joan Graves, head of MPAA`s Classification and Ratings Administration board, saying in part that "the voluntary ratings system enables parents to make an informed decision about what content they allow their children to see in movies."
Harvey Weinstein told reporters this weekend, "It`s really an injustice to a bunch of kids who`ve been beaten up and suffered a little bit too much at the hands of a crazy society that allows that kind of stuff. I think they made a gigantic mistake."
Live signature totals from Katy Butler`s campaign (and comments from signers):
Media coverage of Katy Butler`s campaign:
Washington Post ("Bully Given R-Rating on Appeal; Petition Asks MPAA to Reconsider"): http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/celebritology/post/bully-given-r-rating-on-appeal-petition-asks-mpaa-to-reconsider/2012/02/28/gIQAJDqGgR_blog.html
Reuters ("Petition Seeks PG-13 for `Bully` Documentary"): http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/28/idUS245788758820120228
Hollywood Reporter ("Tens of Thousands Sign Petition Urging MPAA to Overturn `Bully`s` R Rating"):
Detroit Free Press ("Student Lobbies to Remove R-Rating from Anti-Bully Movie"): http://www.freep.com/article/20120228/ENT01/120228069/Student-lobbies-remove-R-rating-from-anti-bully-movie?odyssey=nav%7Chead
To learn more about the film Bully, go to:
Change.org is the world`s fastest-growing platform for social change " growing by one million new members a month, and empowering millions of people to start, join, and win campaigns for social change in their community, city and country.
For more information on Change.org, please visit: http://www.change.org/about.