We featured a trailer for the documentary Bully here yesterday. A film everyone should see: teachers, parents, politicians and, of course, kids. Kids are the ones being bullied and most often kids are the ones bullying. Kids may not be able to change the world but they can be a vital and very important part in the fight against bullying. Kids need to be reached about this topic.
Alas the MPAA, the Motion Picture Association of America, disagrees. The MPAA is the organisation that, when it’s not busy writing censorship laws both for the USA and other countries, is rating films to help parents decide if a film is appropriate for their kids. The problem is: These people are nuts. They’re not only thinking seeing someone naked in a film will harm a teenager more than watching people blowing each other’s brains out, they also believe that “harsh language” a.k.a. swearing in a film means it’s not safe to be watched by anyone under 18.
Obviously a film about bullying contains some not-so-nice words. That’s what bullies do after all: not being nice and gentle. But rather than facing the problem by showing kids (and everyone else) what is happening in schools every day, what is driving kids into suicide, the MPAA deemed the film Bully to be to harsh for teenagers and rated it R (“restricted” which means 18+). This means many students won’t be able to see the film, many schools won’t show it as they planned to before the rating was published.
Reuters has more about this, thanks to Wonderphile for the heads up.