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Documentary 'Bully' earns PG-13 rating after weeks of controversy

Signature Delivery To MPAA In Support Of "Bully"

Jesse Grant/Getty Images For MPAA

The MPAA received 200,000 signatures from bullied student Katy Butler, urging reversal of "R" rating for "Bully" film at the offices of the Motion Picture Association of America on March 7, 2012 in Sherman Oaks, California.

After intense lobbying, the MPAA rating for controversial documentary "Bully" has been lowered from R to PG-13. An edited version of the film will be released April 13.

But that rating comes with some compromises.

The Weinstein Co. says three uses of an expletive were removed to earn the PG-13 rating.

The "Bully" rating saga began when the MPAA gave the film an R rating for its explicit language, declining to change it when the Weinstein Co. appealed. 

Advocates have railed against the rating, saying that a film about the abuses of bullying is meaningless if the demographic it covers can't see it.

Katy Butler, a 17 year-old high school junior in Michigan who was bullied in middle school as a lesbian teen, started a petition through Change.org asking the Motion Picture Association of America to change its rating of the film to PG-13. 

The rating, she claimed, was “robbing many teenagers of the chance to view a film that could change their lives, and help reduce violence in schools.”

An R rating restricts kids under age 17 from seeing the movie without an accompanying adult. The Weinstein Co. countered the MPAA by releasing the film without a rating.

"Bully" examines school bullying by following five kids over the course of a school year. It's directed by Lee Hirsch.

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