Yes. Yes they are. The MPAA is wrong to give the documentary Bully an R rating. Of course they’re wrong. It’s absolutely stupid to think that this apparently unflinching look at school bullying is being given that rating for no other reason than language. Quite frankly, even if it was for thematic content that would be stupid. Why keep kids sheltered from what actually happens to real kids. And sure, I can see how the MPAA might simply be reflecting the reserved nature of parents across America, but then I’d have to say that the MPAA and parents both need to stop being so ignorantly uptight.
However, I think in this case we need to cut the MPAA some slack. Or, at the very least, we should acknowledge the realities of this case specifically. This isn’t just a case of the MPAA being stupidly dogmatic about swearing in film. This is a case of the Weinsteins drumming up controversy where they didn’t need to to get people talking about a documentary that was barely getting any buzz until now. Not only that, but the way a lot of writers have approached the rating of this film as some sort of censorship is off base. Click to read more.