Aisha Tyler Slams MPAA's Rating Decision for 'Bully' (Video)

5:36 PM PST 03/27/2012 by Rebecca Ford

"It's irresponsible of the ratings association to not see how critical it is that kids get to see this film," the actress told THR at the premiere.

Aisha Tyler is a talented, funny actress, who may seem to have it all, but she told The Hollywood Reporter that on the path to who she is now, she was a victim of bullying.

That’s the main reason that the actress attended the premiere of Bully, Lee Hirsch’s powerful documentary following several families whose children are the victims of bullying.

VIDEO: 'Bully' Director Says Releasing the Film Unrated Is 'The Right Thing to Do'

Tyler told THR that she was “bullied quite a bit as a kid.” She was the only African-American child at her school for some time, and she said she got bullied for “being different, for being tall, for being a nerd.”

Tyler, who is currently a co-host on The Talk, said she is supporting the documentary, which opens in Los Angeles and New York on March 30, to “show kids who are being bullied now what they’re life can be like afterwards, after all that.”

STORY: Weinstein Co. to Release Unrated 'Bully' in Protest of 'R'

Just hours before the premiere, The Weinstein Company announced that they would release Bully as unrated rather than using the R rating it was given by the Motion Picture Association of America. Hirsch said he felt this was the “right thing to do.”

The documentary was given an R rating due to the swear words used during parts of the film. The Weinstein Company began a very public appeal of the rating, arguing that a movie with such a powerful message needed to be seen by teens and children under the age of 18. Politicians, Hollywood celebrities and educators across the country got behind the cause, pushing for a change in rating to PG-13. Hundreds of thousands signed a petition that was delivered to the MPAA.

STORY: AMC CEO Gerry Lopez, Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp Latest to Protest 'Bully's' R Rating

“It’s irresponsible, I think, of the ratings association to not see how critical it is that kids get to see this film,” Tyler told THR when asked about the MPAA’s decision.

Harvey Weinstein and Hirsh lost their appeal to overturn the rating by one vote during at a recent hearing of the Classification and Ratings Administration, which has set guidelines about language (violence and sex are more subjective).

“I saw The Hunger Games this weekend, and I loved it,” Tyler said. “But it’s a movie about kids killing each other and that movie got PG-13. The fact that this is getting an R rating is just utter bulls—t.”

Tyler also told THR that she feels parents are “wholly responsible” for their kids’ behavior.

“Kids that are bullies are kids that haven’t been taught to prize human life,” she said. “I was raised by parents that taught me to be kind. And I think kindness is a learned behavior. Kids can be very mean and the way that you counteract that is by teaching them that kindness is valued.”

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