As most of you may know, a new documentary is coming out this month called Bully. It shows how bullying is a real and dangerous threat to millions of children every year. As someone who has been on both ends of the bully spectrum, I wish a movie like this had been out when I was in school.
I should actually say, I’m glad this is coming out now. I know adults who need to watch this movie just as bad as any high school punk who thinks he’s tough shit. Even now, a quarter of a century old, I still see bullying in the workplace, on the streets, in the bars. It doesn’t matter how old you are, you need to understand the repercussions of your actions when it comes to directly abusing, either physically or mentally, someone you think is different enough from yourself to deserve it.
Everyone should see this documentary.
There’s only one problem.
The people who need to see this the most may never get the chance. Due to language and the showing of actual bullying events taking place in schools where this documentary was filmed, the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) has deemed it unfit for teenagers and has essentially killed the effectiveness of this documentary with an ‘R’ Rating. Thus making it illegal for the people who need to see it the most.
The MPAA has been a bane to film makers since it’s inception in 1922. It’s currently chaired by former Democratic Senator Chris Dodd. The MPAA was brought about in response to the Hays Code which spelled out what was acceptable and what was unacceptable content for motion pictures produced for a public audience in the US. Thusly, no single bed in bedrooms of married couples, no kisses that lasted longer than 3 seconds, no toilets were to be seen anywhere, etc. Today the Hays Code, while severely outdated, lives on in many forms. I recommend checking out the documentary “This film is not yet Rated” to help educate yourself on the f*cked up methods used for giving any form of rating to any film that wants to be shown anywhere in the US.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTL3XMDwY0c]
I can’t help but get more and more pissed about this situation. Bully is necessary viewing for kids 7th grade and up. I know it’s going to be violent, and there’s going to be an abundance of language being spewed about. That’s the f*cking world we live in these days. Is it worse that it’s real life footage? Is it worse because it’s teenagers?
Where do we draw the line? When do we stop messing around with paying people to decide what we watch, when we watch it and how much of anything we do watch? Screw SOPA and PIPA, the internet is safe for now. Let’s just hope the Harvey Weinstein, the producer of Bully, will have enough sense to get this movie up on-line as quickly as possible, I don’t even care how much he charges people as per a downloading fee. If it means the people who need to see this would then be able to, do it.