Harvey Weinstein Threatens To Leave MPAA, Wants Lady Gaga & Michelle Obama To Help Him Get People To See 'Bully'

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by Kevin Jagernauth
February 24, 2012 12:22 PM
4 Comments
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The saga between Harvey Weinstein and MPAA deepens today. As you might remember, the ratings board slapped an R on the upcoming documentary "Bully," effectively preventing the very kids it was made for from seeing the film. Yesterday, Harvey attended an appeals hearing accompanied by Alex Libby, one of the bullied kids in the picture. The MPAA re-voted on the matter, and once again, came back with an R-rating for the film, another decision that once again shows this mysterious body to be hugely out of touch. Apparently, Harv needed a 2/3 majority to get the rating overturned, but lost by one vote. And that was the straw that broke the camel's back.

In a statement released to the press, an impassioned and probably infuriated Harvey said: "As of today, The Weinstein Company is considering a leave of absence from the MPAA for the foreseeable future. We respect the MPAA and their process but feel this time it has just been a bridge too far. I have been through many of these appeals, but this one vote loss is a huge blow to me personally. Alex Libby gave an impassioned plea and eloquently defended the need for kids to be able to see this movie on their own, not with their parents, because that is the only way to truly make a change.

With school-age children of my own, I know this is a crucial issue and school districts across the U.S. have responded in kind. The Cincinnati school district signed on to bus 40,000 of their students to the movie – but because the appeals board retained the R rating, the school district will have to cancel those plans.

I personally am going to ask celebrities and personalities worldwide, from Lady Gaga (who has a foundation of her own) to the Duchess of Cambridge (who was a victim of bullying and donated wedding proceeds) to First Lady Michelle Obama (whose foundation has reached out to us as well), to take a stand with me in eradicating bullying and getting the youth into see this movie without restriction."

So, what does this all mean? Well, you gotta hand it to Harv, he knows how to spin these things. First, let's consider this "leave of absence." Let's just bear in mind it's very easy to ponder stepping away from the MPAA when the next film your studio plans to release doesn't arrive until May 25th ("The Untouchables"). That's basically three months from now, but this big blustery maybe-move does allow Harv to milk it to get publicity for the documentary, and lord does he know how to work those teats.

And it's a pretty sly move to invoke the names of Lady Gaga and Michelle Obama, because it's another way of indirectly casting the MPAA in the light of being out-of-touch and uncool, without coming right out and saying it. Again, a brilliant masterstroke, but we'll see if those names tie themselves to the film.

Does Harvey believe in the film? We're sure he does, but his publicity antics are both tiresome and effective (here we are writing about it). And the bottom line is, he's still gonna do his damnedest to get the movie in front of the kids who need to see it, and frankly, there is no one better at pushing a movie he believes in than Harv. We'd want him behind our film (if we ever made one). But this whole MPAA vs. The Weinstein Company kind of just reminds us of this clip from "The Simpsons."

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4 Comments

  • Jeff | February 25, 2012 2:00 PMReply

    Does anybody else see the irony in Harvey Weinstein, who is widely considered the biggest bully in the business championing this film? He was probably a huge asshole and bully as a child, and he certainly is now. He's trying to bully the MPAA into give his film the rating he wants.

  • Huffy | February 25, 2012 9:30 AMReply

    Can't really find much to fault Weinstein here: he's self-promoting but its a good cause, and there's no people in questioning the motivation behind charity. That said I do find it amusing how passionate he's getting about his new cause considering how many stories there are of him being a complete bully when it comes to business.

  • Glass | February 24, 2012 5:21 PMReply

    More proof that male movie producers are the corniest motherfuckers alive. Seriously, they suck so much to listen to or read interviews from because they stink of pure bullshit all the time. I'd rather hear Rick Ross in a studio talk about how Maybach Music Group's gettin it in for the millionth time than hear Harvey talk about how he's bussing in 400,000,000 school children to see his documentary, which will no doubt stop bullying once and for all.

  • lucille | February 24, 2012 9:07 PM

    i do not understand the comment and i will not respond to it.

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