A Michigan high school student, Katy Butler, has launched a petition to change the rating on the documentary film Bully from R to PG-13 so that the film’s target audience of teens can actually see the film, and now Ellen DeGeneres has thrown her support behind Butler’s and the film's cause, discussing it on Wednesday’s episode of her talk show.
“It’s an important movie for everyone to see, especially kids,” DeGeneres said to an audience that included Butler.
“There’s some language in the movie. It’s mature but not gratuitous,” DeGeneres said. “It’s in the movie because it’s part of the real story of bullying and it’s real language that bullies are using.”
DeGeneres went on to explain that the film will not be able to be shown in schools if it carries an R rating.
“The lessons that the kids learn from this movie are more important than any words they might hear, and they’re words they are already using anyway,” DeGeneres said.
DeGeneres then pointed out Butler in the audience, congratulating her for launching the petition for the rating change. “I’m proud of you,” DeGeneres said.
Bully, a Weinstein Company production, follows five bullied kids over the course of a school year. Earlier this month the Weinstein Company lost an appeal to have the film's rating changed.
Sign Butler's petition here.
Watch DeGeneres discuss Bully: