Last week I wrote about the film Bully, which has been given an R-rating by the MPAA. That organization just released a statement that indicates they have been entirely deaf to the concerns many of us have been trying to raise:
The voluntary ratings system enables parents to make an informed decision about what content they allow their children to see in movies. The R rating and description of “some language” for Bully does not mean that children cannot see the film. As with any movie, parents will decide if they want their children to see Bully. School districts, similarly, handle the determination of showing movies on a case-by-case basis and have their own guidelines for parental approval.
That one was started by a high school student named Katy Butler, who understands the issue in a way that MPAA does not:
I just heard that the Motion Picture Association of America has given an “R” rating to “Bully” -- a new film coming out soon that documents the epidemic of bullying in American schools. Because of the R rating, most kids won’t get to see this film. No one under 17 will be allowed to see the movie, and the film won’t be allowed to be screened in American middle schools or high schools.
I can’t believe the MPAA is blocking millions of teenagers from seeing a movie that could change -- and, in some cases, save -- their lives. According to the film’s website, over 13 million kids will be bullied this year alone. Think of how many of these kids could benefit from seeing this film, especially if it is shown in schools?
It has reached nearly 94,000 signatures already.
Update: Thanks to Janet for pointing out dumbest headline error recently. The petition is to get the MPAA NOT to give Bully an R Rating!
Yesterday, I wrote about Bully, a new film from Lee Hirsch that includes, among others, the story of Tyler Long. The version of the trailer I'm posting today is a little longer, and shows more about him. Those are his parents in the preview picture for it.
Tyler had Asperger's syndrome, and he killed himself in 2009 after enduring bullying that went on for years and was apparently ignored by school officials:
The Longs say their son was bullied and picked on from 5th Grade until he took his life on October 17. The previous day, they said, was particularly difficult for him. He came home from school that Friday evening, and retired to his room. The next morning, his father and younger brother found him dead. He had hanged himself.The couple say they spent much of Tyler's middle and high school years meeting with Murray County School administrators, warning them that Tyler was being bullied, and needed help. Tina Long says, "They got tired of us coming around, they called me the "B-word. We'd go to meetings, and the people who were supposed to be there, didn't show up. We were told we could get a Big Brother for him, or a Para-professional to watch after him. It never happened. We would complain about bullying and they would tell us that boys will be boys. We'd ask how he was doing, they would say he was just fine."But the Longs knew better. They say Tyler dreaded the start of school each year, and was overjoyed at school starting several weeks late this year due to budget cuts. They say he killed himself because "he couldn't take it any more. He was tired of the pain."
Every child featured in this film is a hero and their story needs to be told. Gandhi said, “You must become the change you wish to see in the world.” This film has the potential to become that change, that voice, that support for the thousands of children who are bullied every day.
Let's organize.. and move this petition to get the MPAA to reconsider - we can move mountains. We are a movement!
that Tyler Long was one of us. And tell them that his mom is watching, and needs us to support her and Tyler now.
Now go-- sign the petition. Please.