The Weinstein Company will appeal to the MPAA after the film-rating group slapped the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival documentary Bully with an R rating. Harvey Weinstein and one of the film’s featured subjects Alex Libby will attend a hearing on the matter set for Thursday in Sherman Oaks, with Motion Picture Consulting’s Ethan Noble assisting Weinstein. The R-rating was made due to “language,” restricting minors under 17 from seeing the Lee Hirsch-directed film about the effects of school bullying unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. That would in effect ban screenings at U.S. middle and high schools, where Weinstein and the filmmakers want to show it. “We have to change hearts and minds in order to stop this epidemic, which has scarred countless lives and driven many children to suicide,” said Hirsch, who became a regular on shows such as CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 following the film’s premiere last year, which coincided with several teen suicides allegedly as a result of school bullying. The film is set for a March 30 release in theaters. The Weinstein Co is no stranger to MPAA rating hearings: It successfully overturned a NC-17 rating in 2010 for Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams.
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