After Edits, “Bully” Receives Lower Rating from MPAA

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A wider (and younger) audience will be allowed to see the documentary “Bully” in theaters thanks to a new edit of the film that received a “PG-13” rating. The film was initially rated “R” by the Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) ratings board meaning anyone under 17-years-old must be accompanied by an adult, Reuters reports. The new rating lowers that to 13-years-old.

Lee Hirsch, director of the anti-bully film, cut three scenes because of language but left in a key scene for which he lobbied hard.

"I'm just glad that we held strong. I think this is a great resolution," Hirsch told Reuters about his and distributor The Weinstein Co.'s battle with the MPAA, which assigns films ratings based on language, sex, violence and other content.

The documentary follows five children and their families who have been impacted by bullying. The rating controversy stemmed from the use of a certain word that originally was heard six times in the film. Use of the word more than once results in an “R” rating. A compromise between Hirsch and the MPAA allowed one critical scene, containing three instances of the word, to remain while cutting three other instances.

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