A victory for Lee Hirsch and his producing partner Harvey Weinstein, as the MPAA has amended its original decision, now allowing the documentary Bully
, with minor editorial alteration, to be released in the US with a PG-13 rating.
Hirsch has agreed to the removal of three "fucks", but keeps the critical scene intact on the bus that was the source of the original ratings controversy. So, for the record, six "fucks" is too many, one is usually allowed, and in this (special) case three are allowed to pass muster.
When asked by SCREENANARCHY directly about this issue earlier this week
, Hirsch was quite adamant, saying forcefully "I'm not willing to cut the film." He immediately then backpedaled, saying:
"'I'm certainly not willing to cut the scene that's causing us
trouble, I'll make that clarification, the one that's got us in trouble. There's
six curses in the film, a couple I could live without having, but the scene
that they're really rating us for is the one I won't cut, the one on the bus."
It seems, then, that the Director gets to keep his scene, they lose a couple minor incidents of swearing to make the MPAA happy, and the controversy surrounding the film has naturally drummed up enormous interest, both in the US and abroad, about this documentary film.Bully
is already open in select theatres in the US, but this ratings change allows it to open without issue in a wider variety of venues. Furthermore, restrictions upon unrated (or R-rated) films in schools, retailers, and so on will now be lifted, allowing what's potentially a far greater reach for the film.
Feel free to check out my review of the film here
, and read the full interview here