Katy Butler knows how it feels to be bullied. When she was 12, four boys came up behind her. They called her names and shoved her into a wall — then they slammed a locker on her hand and broke her finger. “I held back tears while I watched them run away laughing,” she says. “I didn’t know what to do so I stood there, alone and afraid.”
So Katy, now in high school, was thrilled when she heard about a new documentary, Bully, that sheds light on America’s bullying epidemic. The film’s distributor, The Weinstein Company, even had plans to screen the film in middle and high schools across America.
But it was just announced that the Motion Picture Association of America has decided to give Bully an “R” rating, meaning no one under the age of 17 can see the movie — and it can’t be screened in middle and high schools.
Katy thinks it’s ridiculous that the MPAA would prevent teens from seeing a movie that was made specifically to help them fight back against bullying.
So Katy started a petition on Change.org asking the MPAA to give Bully a PG-13 rating. Click here to sign Katy’s petition — and watch a two-minute preview of this compelling film.
The Weinstein Company appealed the MPAA’s initial decision to give Bully an R rating (unsurprisingly, language used in the film — especially by bullies — is coarse). But news broke on Friday that they lost the appeal. According to news sources, a two-thirds vote was needed to change the rating to PG-13 — but Bully came up one vote shy. Katy thinks it’s time for the MPAA to make an understandable exception for a film that could impact the lives of countless American teens.
Katy knows about the power of online petitions. Last year, when the Michigan legislature was considering a problematic bill to address bullying, Katy and another Michigan teen started a petition asking the legislators to improve the bill — and it worked.
Now Katy needs your help again. Click here to sign Katy’s petition asking the MPAA to give Bully a PG-13 rating so the kids who most need to see it — bullying victims and bullies themselves — can do so.
Thanks for being a change-maker,
– Mark Anthony and the Change.org team