(NEW YORK) — Bully, the much-publicized documentary about teen bullying, will be released as an unrated film following an unsuccessful attempt by its distributor to overturn its R rating.
The Motion Picture Association of America gave Bully an R rating due to the use of profanity in the film. The Weinstein Company lost an appeal of the rating by one vote.
The Weinstein Company has announced the unrated version of Bully will be released this Friday in New York City and Los Angeles.
Despite the announcement, Bully director Lee Hirsch told ABC News Radio that he and the Weinstein Company will continue to fight for a PG-13 rating.
“Bully is a film we would actually like our kids to see and think that is appropriate. Whereas actually all of the sort of violence in films that are often PG-13 is more offensive to us or troubling or is sending the wrong message to our youth,” Hirsch said.
An online petition started by a 17-year-old high school student in Michigan to lower the film’s rating has received hundreds of thousands of signatures. In addition, the documentary has received the support of celebrities including Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Natalia Hepworth, EastIdahoNews.com
Kait Richmond, CNN
Nikki Siegel, Idaho Falls Magazine
David Goldman, CNN