“Kids will be kids”, “boys will be boys”, and “girls will be girls” doesn’t cut with me when it gets to the point that that kid, that boy, or that girl finds it easier to put a rope around their neck and hang themselves from a tree or put a gun to their head and pull the trigger. And, grown-ups, whether it’s parents or educators, that believe those statements need to wake up. It’s already too late for many kids and young adults.
Bullying is a major problem in the United States and across the world. And, how can it not be a problem when we see that hate and unjust behavior from school officials and many politicians, some running for the highest office in the United States. Yes, I’m talking about you Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, and womanizer Newt Gingrich.
“Bully” is a new, heartbreaking documentary that focuses on teen life in contemporary America, which was shot mostly in Sioux City, Iowa.
Here lies the problem and you can help just by sitting at the computer in your home or at work. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has given “Bully” an R-rating, which would prevent it from being seen by one of the groups that needs to see it the most — teenagers.
There is a petition on Change.org that you can sign to let the MPAA know that this movie should be seen by teenagers and the rating should be “PG-13″. The petition was started by lesbian teen Katy Butler, who was bullied because of her sexuality. Already more than 447,000 people have signed the petition. Two weeks ago when Katy delivered signatures to the MPAA’s Los Angeles headquarters, there were just about 200,000 signatures.
Congressional Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), NBA legend Michael Jordan, actors Ellen DeGeneres and Johnny Depp, singers Justin Bieber and Demi Lovato, “American Idol” judge Randy Jackson, and NFL quarterback Drew Brees have already voiced their support for the petition.
Advanced screenings of the movie brought out Oscar winner Meryl Streep, former network news anchors Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric, media mogul Martha Stewart, actress Mariel Hemingway, and tennis legend Billie Jean King.
Famed attorneys David Boies and Ted Olson are also willing to argue on behalf of “Bully” to have the R-rating changed to PG-13.
Both men were instrumental in overturning California’s “Proposition 8″ ban on gay marriage. Olson was also a solicitor general under President George W. Bush and Boies argued for Al Gore during the 2000 election’s landmark case, “Bush v. Gore”.
At a special screening in New York City earlier this week, Boies said, “How ridiculous and unfair and damaging it is to have a film of this power and importance that is being censored by a rating system that has got simply no rational basis. You can kill kids, you can maim them, you can torture them and still get a PG-13 rating, but if they say a couple of bad words (the f-word), you blame them. I hope, for heaven’s sake, that they find some rational basis before we have to sue them to revise the rating system.”
Olson adds these words of warning to the MPAA, “They better shape up, or here we come.”
“Bully” opens in New York City on March 30, 2012, and nationwide in April.