Viewers under 17 will have to bring a guardian or a permission slip to view the documentary “Bully,” which is being released unrated after a showdown with the MPAA
When it opens March 30, minors will be allowed to see the controversial documentary "Bully" at at least one theater chain – despite the MPAA's decision to rate the film R and the Weinstein Company's subsequent decision to release the film unrated..
The chain? AMC Theaters.
But there's a catch: Those younger than 17 will have to be accompanied by a guardian, or bring a signed permission slip, available for download here.
"AMC Theatres believes people of all ages can benefit from the message of this film," the theater chain said on its website. "That’s why we are allowing all guests to experience the version of this film that is not rated."
The Lee Hirsch-directed film, which follows five kids who've been affected by bullying, has been a hot-button topic in recent weeks. The Motion Picture Association of America slapped the film with an R rating because of language.
Studio boss Harvey Weinstein, contending that teenagers are the group that most stands to benefit from seeing the film, lobbied for the rating to be changed to a PG-13, going so far as to arrange a special screening of the film in an effort to convince the powers-that-be at the MPAA.
He wasn't the only one pulling for a lower rating; an online petition on the matter garnered nearly half a million signatures. More than 20 members of Congress also weighed in, as well, as did celebrities including Meryl Streep, Ellen DeGeneres, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and singer-actress Demi Lovato.
When the MPAA refused to relent, Weinstein chose to release the film unrated, leaving it up to the theaters who could see the film.