Once again, the MPAA has shown it is completely out of touch. Earlier this week it was reported that The Weinstein Company were planning to appeal the R-rating stamped on their upcoming documentary “Bully” about, you guessed it, schoolyard bullying. The issues with the film had nothing to do with gratuitous violence, explicit sex or themes that might be too mature for a young audience. Nope, it had do with language. Specifically: “some language.” And today, the MPAA and their cabal of tight asses have once again ruled on the wrong side.
The ratings board has upheld the R-rating given to the documentary, which essentially prevents kids from seeing a documentary about kids. This isn’t the first time that the MPAA’s ridiculous policy on f-bombs (which unofficially states you can only have two in your film, otherwise you get an R-rating) has affected a film, but it’s more evidence that a more malleable system based on the merits of the film, and not just on an arbitrary list of checkpoints, needs to be put in place.
At the end of the day, the Weinsteins will likely alter the film and still get it in front of the school-age audiences the filmmakers want to be able to see “Bully.” But this is just further evidence that the MPAA needs a serious overhaul, and more transparency. But that happening anytime soon is unlikely. If you haven’t, see the documentary “This Film Is Not Yet Rated;” it will open your eyes to just how insidious this group is.