The MPAA won’t allow teens to see educational film on bullying

Ok, this is it. The MPAA is so messed up. This group’s values are totally off. Yet, one tiny band of people has a huge effect not only on what our kids are allowed to see but what America considers acceptable for children.

So the MPAA has decided that “Bully,” a documentary about the epidemic of bullying in America, a film that the Weinstein company was planning to show to middle and high schools kids in America, will have an R rating, meaning those kids won’t be able to see it. Why? The bullies in the film use use coarse language.

Are you kidding me?

The MPAA couldn’t be more out of touch about what is beneficial and what is dangerous for kids.

You know what’s not so great for kids? The slew of animated films where female characters are consistently stereotyped, relegated to sidekick roles, or have gone missing all together. See stats from the Geena Davis Institute and Reel Girl’s Gallery of Girls Gone Missing From Kids Movies in 2011 to get an idea of how prevalent gender stereotyping is in animated films.

At the very least, parents should be warned before they take their kids to yet another movie where the few female characters are going to be sexualized or mocked for being ugly or fat. Yet, to the contrary: the MPAA seems to think that cartoon sexist stereotypes are totally cool. Just one example: Animated characters in G movies are as likely to wear revealing clothing as female characters in R movies.

I wonder if the MPAA even notices that when one of the only females in “Pirates! Band of Misfits” is ogled and hooted at, it’s not funny. What do they think kids are getting out of that scene? Or if the MPAA understands that when kids go to the movies where males always star and females never do, both genders learn that boys are more important than girls. Hey, MPAA: that’s a really bad lesson for kids. This kind of bizarre disconnect about values, what is okay and what isn’t, is the whole reason why I started my blog, Reel Girl: to call out Hollywood when it relentlessly perpetuates damaging stereotypes “for kids”

Katy Butler was twelve years old when she was bullied in school. Last year, when the Michigan legislature was considering a problematic bill to address bullying, Katy and another Michigan teen started a petition asking the legislators to improve the bill. Now Butler has another petition going: she wants kids to be able to see “Bully.” Please tell the MPAA to get its values right, give “Bully” a PG-13 rating so kids can learn from this film, and sign Butler’s petition

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