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'Bully' documentary rating fight gets celebrities' attention

March 15, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep and other Hollywood heavyweights are joining the call to lower the R rating of a documentary about bullying so more younger people can see the film.

In addition to Depp and Streep, the Weinstein Company announced Tuesday that New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is also asking that the rating of "Bully" be lowered.

Lee Hirsch's documentary on bullying in American schools has been rated R, which restricts children under 17 from seeing it without an adult. The Motion Picture Association of America, which oversees movie ratings, cited language as the reason for the R rating.

Distributors appealed the decision, but it was upheld by the MPAA.

Michigan teenager Katy Butler, who was bullied in middle school, collected 200,000 signatures calling for a rating change and delivered them last week to MPAA officials in Sherman Oaks, but the rating change was declined.

Butler now has nearly 300,000 signatures on her petition on Change.org. Among them is that of New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and AMC Theaters chief Gerry Lopez.

"Bully" is set to be released March 30.

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