The fight to save the documentary film Bully from an R-rating has won over a whole new pack of A-list celebrities, including Johnny Depp, Justin Bieber and Oscar winner Meryl Streep, People reports.

Bieber, Depp and Streep have joined the likes of Ellen DeGeneres and Demi Lovato in a push to change the R rating, set by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), to PG-13 so that more teens can see the film's positive, anti-bullying message. The cause was kicked off by Michigan high school student Katy Butler, who launched a petition at to get the MPAA to reconsider its original rating.

The goal is to put the film in front of as many eyes as possible. "It's an important movie for everyone to see, especially kids," DeGeneres said on her talk show last week.

Directed by Lee Hirsch and distributed by the Weinstein Co., Bully focuses on peer bullying in American schools. The MPAA rated it R due to language, thereby restricting children under 17 from seeing it without an adult.

In addition to celebrities like Bieber and Depp, politicians and business leaders have voiced their support for Butler's petition, among them New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chief of AMC Theaters Gerry Lopez.

So far, MPAA spokesman Howard Gantman, which upheld the R rating after distributors appealed it, has not commented on a new rating. “We respect the viewpoints of members of Congress and the public and Hollywood celebrities who care deeply about an issue that is troubling our nation,” he told the Washington Post. “The MPAA shares the goal of shining a light on the problems caused by bullying, and we hope that this new film and the national discussion about it among educators, parents and students will help lead to ways to better ensure that kids feel safe and protected when they come to school.”

Watch the trailer for Bully here:


  • Mijon Zulu
    Mijon Zulu on

    This needs to shared with the entire country.

  • Allison Volpe
    Allison Volpe on

    It's ridiculous that this is being argued about.Kids need to learn about how detrimental bullying is as early as possible.I'm worried there's no chance of this rating budging..

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