PTC Says ‘Bully’ to MPAA's R-Rating for ‘Bully’

“An accurate content rating in no way diminishes the powerful and vitally important messages conveyed in the film,” the conservative Parents Television Council says

The Parents Television Council Friday praised the Motion Picture Association of America for standing by its guns and refusing to budge on its  “R” rating for the film “Bully.” 

“In years past we have taken the MPAA to task for assigning grossly inaccurate motion picture content ratings,” said PTC President Tim Winter in a statement. “Perhaps this is a case of the proverbial ‘blind squirrel finding an acorn,’ but based upon the content of ‘Bully,’ we believe the MPAA was correct in assigning an ‘R’ rating in this instance, and we applaud them for sticking to that decision.”

Also read: 'Bully,' With Its R Rating, Gets an MPAA-Hosted Screening – and Harvey Will Be There

After the MPAA gave the documentary an R rating, for excessively profane language in one of the bullying scenes, the Weinstein Company waged a public effort to change the rating to PG-13 so that the film can reach the target audience it was intended for. 

Still, Winter’s group thinks the MPAA is doing the right thing.

“As a parent who has witnessed bullying first-hand, and as someone who has been touched personally by the tragic consequences up to and including suicide, an accurate content rating in no way diminishes the powerful and vitally important messages conveyed in the film,” Winter added.

The group also said the entire matter illustrates why ratings reform is needed in order to include more public involvement in the process. Currently, a film’s producer can push for a ratings change before a film release, while for viewers, “their frustration almost always comes after they have been assaulted by content they were not expecting,” wrote Winters.