Bully, a powerful new documentary focusing on the bullying epidemic affecting children, is so confronting that it was initially given an R rating by the Motion Picture Association of America. They argued that the language used in the film – actual footage shoot within the US school system – was unsuitable for minors despite the fact it was spoken by the students themselves.
This meant that those under 17 would be unable to see the film without an adult – effectively preventing access to those who could most benefit from its message – causing everyone from Ellen DeGeneres and Justin Bieber to Microsoft to petition the censors into giving it a more teenage-friendly PG-13 rating.
It worked. With some minor edits, children across America are now able to see it, with some school districts even making it compulsory viewing for students.