The “Bully” ratings battle looks to have one more round. According to the Los Angeles Times, The Weinstein Company might release a new, PG-13 version of the documentary, which would excise the foul language that earned “Bully” an R-rating from the Motion Picture Association of America.
In lieu of that decision, TWC released the film on Friday in New York and Los Angeles as unrated.
“At this time, there are no plans to change the film for a PG-13,” Weinstein Company marketing head Stephen Bruno told the Times blog 24 Frames. “We are in constant conversation with the MPAA and hope a compromise can be reached.”
Harvey Weinstein and the creators of “Bully” have been warring with the MPAA for weeks over the rating, which would restrict children under 17 from seeing the film. “Bully” focuses on the bullying epidemic in America’s schools.
On Tuesday, celebrities took to Twitter to protest the R-rating. Last month, teenager Katy Butler started an online petition to combat the ruling, which netted nearly 470,000 signatures.
While releasing the film as unrated got TWC around the R-rating, it wasn’t a perfect solution. Many theaters treat unrated films like they are NC-17, and don’t allow minors in at all. In a show of solidarity for the message of the film, AMC theaters announced on Wednesday that they would accept permission slips from parents who want their children to see “Bully.”
“Bully” earned its R-rating because of one scene of profanity. As the Times points out, for “Bully” to earn a PG-13 rating, the offending moment will likely need to be cut; simply bleeping out the curses is often not enough for the MPAA to reconsider.
“Bully” is out in New York and Los Angeles now.