'Bully' controversy: Teens petition to change R rating in U.S.
Katy Butler, 17, a high school student, from Ann Arbor, Mich., poses by the petitions she delivered to the Motion Picture Association of America in Los Angeles. (AP / Damian Dovarganes)
Sandy Cohen, The Associated Press
Published Thursday, March 8, 2012 7:52AM EST
LOS ANGELES - Katy Butler hasn't forgotten what it was like to be bullied in the seventh grade, when a group of boys surrounded her, taunted her and broke her finger by slamming it into a locker.
Now 17, Butler has become the face of a campaign to change the rating of "Bully," a documentary that tracks victims and perpetrators of bullying in American schools. The film, set for release this month, has been rated R in the U.S. for its language content.
Butler, along with distributors the Weinstein Co., wants the rating changed to PG-13 so more young people can see it.
"Bully" is rated PG in B.C. Other provinces have not yet rated the film. Individual provinces issue ratings in Canada.
"This could change bullying and save lives," the high-school junior from Ann Arbor, Mich., said.
The Weinstein Co. appealed the R-rating, but the Motion Picture Association of America, which oversees movie ratings, declined to change it. That inspired Butler to start an online campaign on Change.org, a website that publishes community petitions and funded Butler's trip to Los Angeles.