"Bully," The Weinstein Company's documentary about bullying in schools, will keep its R rating, the MPAA's appeals board ruled Thursday.
TWC Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein and Alex Libby, one of the documentary's bullied students, had appealed the rating, asking for a PG-13 instead.
The R rating was imposed on the basis of "some language," which means that "Bully" can't be viewed in theaters by children younger than 17 unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. It also prevents the film from being screened in middle and high schools -- the very people it might help most, the Weinstein company maintained.
In a written statement issued several days before the appeal hearing, Harvey Weinstein said that “As a father of four, I worry every day about bullying; it’s a serious and ever-present concern for me and my family. I want every child, parent, and educator in America to see 'Bully,' so it is imperative for us to gain a PG-13 rating. It’s better that children see bad language than bad behavior, so my wish is that the MPAA considers the importance of this matter as we make this appeal.”