Bully documentary deserves to be heard
Set for release on March 30, the hotly debated documentary, Bully, will finally be in theaters; however, due to its rating, thousands of students may possibly be banned from watching.
Controversy has been surrounding the rating of this documentary as the Motion Picture Association of America has decided that the film will be rated R due to the explicit use of the F word six times.
But the problem isn’t the rating itself; it’s the limiting of the audience that the rating will effect.
According to bullystatistics.com, one in seven students in kindergarten through 12th grade is a bully or a victim of bullying. Already the MPAA has targeted the wrong audience. They have inhibited student bullies from actually seeing the effect of their behavior and silenced the voices of victims.
Now, how come they can’t just do the obvious and bleep or edit the F words?
Obviously, editing the six F words will only take away from the meaning of the documentary. By leaving the words raw, it truly portrays the depths of cruelty which humans can possess and use.
By only allowing 17-year-old and older adults to view it, they are only trying to hide students from the brutality of bullying. The usage of the f word six times cannot compare to reality, as we are constantly exposed to a world full of this corruption.
The film has left us to face the question: How sheltered are our students these days? It is not hard to believe that on a daily basis many students have been exposed to extreme profanity? And let’s admit it, in some cases even we have used the word.
Because let’s face it: reality is harsh.
While the MPAA believes that they are protecting the young audience, the truth is that the guidelines for rating films are outdated. While this sheltering has led up to this point, we cannot deny that students have been “growing up” at a more brisk pace than in the last decade.
Fortunately, the debate is a victory for advocates regardless of the rating because in the end, no rating is going to truly detract from the impact of the documentary itself.