The Weinsteins Taking on the MPAA
The MPAA has long been a thorn in the sides of both filmmakers and fans. In a nutshell a group of super-conservative near octogenarians gather to take it upon themselves to decide what is or what is not offensive within the film industry. It's an archaic system that is never fair or consistent.
True, the MPAA doesn't say you can't ever release your movie unrated by them, but unrated releases usually get dumped or pulled from any of the handful of theatres that dares to show them, thus ruining whatever chances a filmmaker has to not only get exposure but also make a dollar. God forbid anyone think and decide for themselves what they want to watch. That would be absurd!
In any event the Weinsteins are no strangers to the ratings board as they've tussled with them in the past, but now, with the MPAA's ruling on Bully, a documentary film from Alex Libby, they seemingly have pushed Bob and Harvey too far.
Their ruling that the flick be rated R for language puts a dent in the plan for the studio and filmmakers to show the film as a teaching tool in middle schools and high schools.
The Weinsteins released the following statement today:
As of today, The Weinstein Company is considering a leave of absence from the MPAA for the foreseeable future. We respect the MPAA and their process but feel this time it has just been a bridge too far.
I have been through many of these appeals, but this one vote loss is a huge blow to me personally. Alex Libby gave an impassioned plea and eloquently defended the need for kids to be able to see this movie on their own, not with their parents, because that is the only way to truly make a change.
With school-age children of my own, I know this is a crucial issue and school districts across the U.S. have responded in kind. The Cincinnati school district signed on to bus 40,000 of their students to the movie – but because the appeals board retained the R rating, the school district will have to cancel those plans.
I personally am going to ask celebrities and personalities worldwide, from Lady Gaga (who has a foundation of her own) to the Duchess of Cambridge (who was a victim of bullying and donated wedding proceeds) to First Lady Michelle Obama (whose foundation has reached out to us as well), to take a stand with me in eradicating bullying and getting the youth in to see this movie without restriction.
Good luck, guys! We're pulling for you. If only more studios would take this kind of stance.
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