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Rev. Jesse Jackson Urges Ratings Board to Reverse 'Bully's' R Rating

Jesse Jackson BET Honors - P 2012
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So far, more than 138,000 people have signed an online petition likewise asking that the rating be reduced to a PG-13.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson has joined the chorus of people urging the Classification and Ratings Administration to lower the rating for Lee Hirsch's documentary Bully from an R to a PG-13, allowing teens to see the film without any restrictions.

The R rating was issued for language, specifically for the repeated use of the word f--k.

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"Bully is a movie that depicts the nightmare that some kids face every day in schools across America. This harsh reality must not be edited especially considering how bullying has become a horrible form of violence. It drives individuals to suicide and even retaliation," Jackson said in a statement released by The Weinstein Co., which is distributing the documentary.

"It creates violent reactions in our children and they must be allowed to see the movie as it was intended to help raise awareness, increase empathy and change minds," he continued.

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Last week, the ratings appeals board refused to overturn the rating. CARA chairwoman Joan Graves says the ratings are designed to convey information to parents, not stifle a film.

On Monday, a Michigan high school student started an online petition on Change.org likewise asking the MPAA to overturn the rating. So far, there are more than 138,000 signatures.

Bully opens in theaters March 30.