Of course the MPAA should allow kids under 17 to see Lee Hirsch‘s Bully (Weinstein Co., 3.30) by downgrading the R rating to a PG-13. And it’s a good thing, of course, that Katy Butler has gathered over 200,00 signatures protesting the MPAA rating as it can’t be shown in schools without a PG-13 rating. But really…all this over Hirsch’s insistence that a few f-bombs be kept on the soundtrack?
The MPAA’s CARA ratings board is enforcing a system designed to appeal to the Rick Santorum-minded parents of the world. Parents who fear f-bombs and depictions of sexual activity more than depictions of violence represent a kind of neurotic constipation, and MPAA is endorsing a form of bureaucratic idiocy by catering to these people.
But as Ellen DeGenereres says in the clip above, most kids are quite familiar with f-bombs so what’s the difference? Just create a bleeped version of Bully so schools can show it and put the f-bomb R version in theatres. Or…what the hell, remove the f-bombs altogether. Who cares if we hear bullies in the film using f-bombs or not? The idea is to make the film viewable to kids so why not? How many tens of thousands of times have we heard f-bombs in other films? What difference can it make? The basic essential goal is to forcefully persuade that bullying in schools is horrific. What are five f-bombs compared to that?
Sidenote: It was announced today that a ratings (or film censoring) board in British Columbia, apparently called Consumer Protection B.C., has given a PG rating to Bully.