Sarah Kate Ellis, the president and CEO of GLAAD shot off a letter to the MPAA Chairmen Chris Dodd and Classifications and Ratings Administration (CARA) head Joan Graves saying that the R-rating imposed by the board for TWC’s transgender-themed movie 3 Generations “sends a dangerous message to this already marginalized community” of transgenders.
The ratings board slapped 3 Generations with a R-rating earlier this month due to language and some sexual references. TWC said it is mounting an appeal on that rating for the film which follows a family living under one roof in NY as they deal with the life-changing transformation of a youngster named Ray (played by Elle Fanning). The film also stars Naomi Watts and Susan Sarandon who have also both passionately voiced their opposition to the R-rating.
Ellis further writes: “Hollywood desperately needs to share stories of transgender youth that fosters acceptance. A recent study by the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center found that 30% of transgender youth reported history of at least one suicide attempt and nearly 42% report a history of self-injury. A parent’s unconditional love for their child is not a story that should be restricted. In fact, it is a story that could help parents and young people across this country and around the world.”
The upcoming film 3 Generations, “will help undo some of the damage Hollywood has caused,” for transgender characters which for 50 years the GLAAD CEO said have been “used as fodder in films where they were either psychopathic killers, deviant freaks or pathetic victims.”
TWC purchased the film out of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival for $6M and it has bounced around the release schedule — it was initially scheduled for Sept. 2015 and even got a title change before the company (it was previously titled About Ray), before being slotted for a May 5th date for exclusive engagements in L.A. and New York.
Controversy is always a good way to get awareness for any film and TWC is no stranger to controversy. In the past, it has also thrown down the gauntlet down to the MPAA on such films as Bully, The King’s Speech, and Philomena in what were very public stances that generated lots and lots of awareness.
The film, which was released in Brazil with the title About Ray and grossed $375K before being pulled off the schedule in the states and re-configured. TWC asked its longtime lawyer David Boies to help on its appeal to the ratings board. In 2009, it was Boies who worked to overturn Proposition 8, California’s discriminatory ban on gay marriage. He has also consulted on numerous issues for TWC in the past, including the MPAA’s rating of the documentary Bully. That was given an R-rating for similar reasons as 3 Generations.
Read Ellis’ entire letter here.