Andrew Breitbart Documentary Release Delayed Over Rating War With MPAA (Video)
"Hating Breitbart," about the media reaction to the late conservative provocateur, was given an R for its harsh language. Director Andrew Marcus submitted an edited version to the MPAA but again was denied a PG-13.
The release of a documentary about deceased new-media provocateur Andrew Breitbart that was to open Friday has been delayed one week because of a rift between the filmmakers and the MPAA, which has rated the film R due to obscene language.
The movie, called Hating Breitbart, is largely about the subject's battles against the mainstream media over the way it allegedly unfairly maligns the Tea Party movement. Clips of Anderson Cooper, Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, Bill Maher, Janeane Garofalo and others who call conservatives "teabaggers," "racists" and other disparaging terms are used throughout the film.
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The movie originally contained several uses of the F-word, which was routinely hurled at Breitbart when he'd show up at liberal gatherings. Breitbart also uses the word a few times in the film.
Under current MPAA guidelines, if a film uses "one of the harsher sexually derived words" -- such as the F-word -- more than a certain number of times, it receives an R rating. But the MPAA sometimes has made inconsistent rulings over language.
The MPAA gave Hating Breitbart an R rating last week, much to the dismay of director Andrew Marcus and distributors Rocky Mountain Pictures, who were hoping for a PG-13 rating. Marcus then cut out the offending word nine times but left in some that he deemed important to the integrity of the film. The MPAA still rated the film R.
One of the major disagreements comes near the beginning of the film and also can be seen in the film's online trailer, when Breitbart looks at the camera and says: "What the left has stood for with political correctness is to try and get those with whom they disagree to shut up. … You're gonna call us racist? You're gonna call us potential Timothy McVeighs? F--- you."
He pauses, then ends his soliloquy with a single word: "War."
See an explicit trailer containing the scene below.
"I scrubbed everybody else's use of the word except for four by Andrew, because it's essential to who he was," Marcus tells The Hollywood Reporter. "He was passionate, and he wasn't polished.
"I first thought the MPAA was just doing its job and I can respect that, but then I started researching," he continues. "I found that The Social Network received a PG-13 and it uses the F-word twice, plus it has cocaine use, and it's all scripted."
In their latest appeal to the MPAA, Marcus and Rocky Mountain cite Social Network, The Tourist, The Adjustment Bureau and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps -- all of which use the F-word yet have been rated PG-13.
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Marcus says he will not cut the film any further and that it will be released Oct. 19 whether rated R or PG-13. He also stopped short of accusing the MPAA of a political agenda.
"They're opaque," he says. "They're a black box on a political level. I don't know where they stand. I just find them to be wholly inconsistent."
"The voluntary ratings system enables parents to make an informed decision about what content they allow their children to see in movies," the MPAA said in a statement emailed to THR. "The R rating and the description of 'some language' for Hating Breitbart does not mean that children cannot see the film. As with any movie, parents will decide if they want their children to see the movie."