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Statement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 9, 2012


 

PTC Applauds MPAA for Accurate Rating of “Bully”

Calls for greater public involvement with the ratings process

LOS ANGELES (March 9, 2012) – The Parents Television Council is praising the Motion Picture Association of America today for affirming its “R” rating of the film “Bully.” While respectfully disagreeing with those who have called for a reduced “PG-13” content rating for this particular film, the PTC is calling on the MPAA for greater public involvement in the MPAA ratings determination process.

“In years past we have taken the MPAA to task for assigning grossly inaccurate motion picture content ratings. Perhaps this is a case of the proverbial ‘blind squirrel finding an acorn,’ but based upon the content of ‘Bully,’ we believe the MPAA was correct in assigning an ‘R’ rating in this instance, and we applaud them for sticking to that decision,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

“The entire reason for having a rating system is to warn consumers – and especially parents – of the content so that they can make an informed choice as to whether the material is appropriate. In the case of ‘Bully’ the content itself demands no less than an ‘R’ rating. As a parent who has witnessed bullying first-hand, and as someone who has been touched personally by the tragic consequences up to and including suicide, an accurate content rating in no way diminishes the powerful and vitally important messages conveyed in the film.

“As with any content ratings system, parents must be given the information they need to make more informed choices about what is suitable viewing for their own children. Indeed, that is the sole purpose of the MPAA’s rating system. Parents who want their kids to see an ‘R-rated’ movie may take them to see it; and those who don’t are able to rely on a system that prevents unattended minor children from entering the theater.

“The effort mounted to protest the ‘Bully’ rating lays bare a bigger problem: the public has no means by which to voice their objections to an MPAA-approved rating. If a producer feels the MPAA has unfairly or inaccurately rated their film to be too high, they can protest; and the likely result is that the protest is successful. But if members of the public deem a film’s rating to be too low, they have no recourse; and their frustration almost always comes after they have been assaulted by content they were not expecting.

“The PTC is calling for an immediate reform of the MPAA ratings system. The public must be afforded the option to appeal a film’s ratings to ensure it is accurate. In order for the rating system to work – and not be subject to the whims of wealthy, all-powerful producers – there must be greater accuracy, transparency, consistency, and accountability to the public,” concluded Winter.

 
To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council, please contact Megan Franko at (703) 859-5054 or Liz Krieger at (703) 683-5004 ext. 120.


The Parents Television Council™ (www.parentstv.org®) is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media. This national grassroots organization has more than 1.3 million members across the United States, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children. The PTC also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.

 

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