The MPAA has been criticized many times for many things. Like allowing rampant female nudity without an R (or higher) rating while male nudity is a massive taboo. Another is Wes Craven's comment regarding Scream - the Association is more comfortable with a 30-corpse assault rifle killing spree than a man who stalks and stabs his prey (which means, "cartoon violence and big casualties are fine; something like real life is not").
So now we come to a supreme irony: Bully, a documentary about grade-school peer abuse, is receiving an R rating because of the number of curses used by the real-life children on-camera. The amazing thing is not just that this is sheltering children from their real-life peers - it's that this movie might make children think about and respond to this real problem. Or not, I guess.
Alas, all opportunity for learning anything - things that might make them feel less afraid or alone - is lost because... because kids curse too much, and they shouldn't hear or think about all that cursing when it's on a movie screen. They should, I guess, just relish what they get to hear every day.
As I read on AICN last Friday, the Weinsteins appealed the rating and lost by one vote. The producers are now considering withdrawing the pic from the MPAA altogether. What a mess!
You might say that adults can still take their kids to see this picture. But I think we all know that this is a big hurdle for audiences to overcome. And I suspect that schools are prohibited from screening R movies for their students, no matter how much they might learn by watching them. Get a brain, MPAA!