Last week, the MPAA ruled that the documentary Bully would be required to maintain an R rating, despite an appeal by The Weinstein Company to lower the rating to PG-13. Bully follows five students over a year in which they face harassment and bullying by classmates. Last night on the red carpet at the Oscars, TWC chief Harvey Weinstein told EW he was not going to take the decision lying down.
“It’s really an injustice to a bunch of kids who’ve been beaten up and suffered a little too much at the hands of a crazy society that allows that kind of stuff, and I think [the MPAA has] made a gigantic mistake.” Watch Weinstein’s full response below.
Filmmaker Michael Moore also weighed in on the controversy. ”I’ve had that problem with the MPAA every time I’ve wanted to put a movie out it seems. Every one of my movies except one are rated R and it just kills me. Their strict guidelines are outdated and rigid and I don’t understand why they don’t see that,” he said. “Anything that might help end the problem of bullying can’t be seen as a negative thing, and I’m sure the kids being bullied have heard all the profanity that’s being used in the film.”
Weinstein has threatened to leave the MPAA over the decision, but Moore said he was doubtful it would affect Weinstein’s successful track record. “Nothing could ruin that career, not even Harvey. Well, maybe Harvey.”
Additional reporting by Carrie Bell.