Bully Receives It’s PG-13 Rating

In this country we have our fair share of useless boards and committees, but none of them are garner more attention than the MPAA.  As the chief organization responsible for rating movies, the MPAA has a very vague set of rules that essentially biol down to which members screen the movie and how they are feeling on that particular day.  This system has garnered a lot of criticism and even spawned a documentary (“This Film Is Not Yet Rated”), but this past week marked a victory for Hollywood that may have future implications in the way movies are rated.  Harvey Weinstein launched a public battle against the MPAA after it slapped the documentary “Bully” with an R rating, effectively shutting out the audience the film was targeted at, young adults.  It wasn’t so much the public campaigning against the MPAA that is so critical in the grand scheme of things, but the willingness of theater owners to show the movie, despite it being released unrated (which means it is to be treated as an NC-17 film) and took a more laid back attitude toward those admitted into the movie. The significance of this lies in the fact that theater owners are generally the biggest supporter of the MPAA, and with them standing behind the distributor of the film it could be what sparks more serious conversation on how to better change the rating systems in this country.  My personal view is that movies should be given content advisories and not ratings.  By giving content advisories viewers will be more informed on what they can expect out of a film (such as graphic nudity, blood, gore, violence, horror, extreme language etc.), as opposed to a generic R with the reason being for some violence and language.  The Kings Speech was an Oscar winning film that had historical merit that could serve as an educational tool but garnered an R rating due to the use of a certain curse word that appears once in the film.  The current ratings system is broken, and I for one hope that the  MPAA giving Bully its PG-13 rating doesn’t end the discussion of ratings reform, but merely serves as the catalyst.

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