'Bully' director: Bullying is akin to torture
March 13th, 2012
09:45 AM ET

'Bully' director: Bullying is akin to torture

Director Lee Hirsch hopes his documentary about bullying will shed light on what he sees as a crisis in American society, but an MPAA R rating may keep the intended audience of middle school and high school kids from getting a chance to see it.

The doc, titled "Bully," follows five students and their families throughout the course of a school year, and aims to provide a variety of perspectives on the reality of bullying.

It features two families who have lost children to suicide, as well as a mother who is awaiting the fate of her 14-year-old daughter, who was locked up after bringing a gun aboard her school bus.

That’s why Hirsch said he was so thrilled when a young victim of bullying - a high school student in Michigan - started a petition on Change.org to urge the MPAA to change the rating to PG-13.

“It’s just simply not an R film,” he says. “And I can’t tell you enough how inspiring it's been to wake up and see that a 17-year-old student from Ann Arbor, Michigan launched a petition on Change.org...It’s so awesome! And what’s amazing about it is it’s not just that people are signing, it’s that they’re sharing, and they’re telling their stories, and they’re connecting with each other.”

What Hirsch wants viewers to understand, he said, "is that for someone who’s a victim of constant, frequent bullying, it’s akin to torture. It’s daily, violent, terrifying. It's soul-crushing stuff. We don’t say to soldiers who have been tortured to just not expect anyone to have sympathy for you. We don’t do that to people who were tortured. And we shouldn’t do that with our kids.”

"Bully" is scheduled to be released March 30 in New York and on April 13 in Los Angeles, as well as other select cities nationwide.

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soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. ScottBoston

    y2daddy- I'm not into being negative, but I have to respond to your comment and write; you are clearly uneducated, most likely a red neck, and a very good chance a frustrated closet case.

    March 28, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  2. MobiusEight

    1. Teach kids self-defense
    2. Help them build up a backbone
    3. ????
    4. Profit

    March 27, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Santanu

      – I just love the curls and beautiful big eyes and of coruse that chair just ROCKS! Thank you for reminding us to share the blog love I always need a reminder to let others know I actually frequent their blogs. October 24, 2008 7:28 pm

      April 24, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. CN Red

    "an MPAA R rating may keep the intended audience of middle school and high school kids from getting a chance to see it." Oh please, they will see on the internets, if they want, before it is released. Or they will borrow dear old dads credit card and rent it from Redbox.

    March 14, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  4. JD

    Bulling IS torture for the victim. Some kids are vicious and cruel. Some parents are also. The schools are overwhelmed trying to handle bullying issues.

    March 14, 2012 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
  5. Fritzy

    Hey, I've been bullied, just because I like the fellas. I kind of like it, though! I can scream like a little girl!

    March 13, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. CPF

    So, except for a filmmaker declaring it one, how is this suddenly a crisis? I seem to recall that bullying has been around since forever. Maybe the crisis is that instead of solving it through discipline we've fallen back on watching it happen and overanalyzing it.

    March 13, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • y2daddy

      GLAAD declared it so, that's why it is now a crisis. If no gay kids were being bullied the public outcry would disappear.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • CPF

      @y2daddy – Thanks for bringing your agenda to the party. At least you didn't try to blame Obama. But you did not offer anything resembling a solution.

      March 13, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • AIM

      Sad comment, you must be one of those "boys will be boys", boys don't cry, girls don't talk, women belong in the kitchen....Lots of social sickness have been around forever, it doesn't mean every generation has to take it as NORMAL.
      It is a crisis when children decide to take their own lives. Schools put the cases under the rug, parents are to busy to care, politicians make a stand on campaign trails only...so who takes care of American kids? They don't have a voice, and their vulnerability makes them target of Bulling, rape, abuse, exploration....sure I keep going????

      March 31, 2012 at 2:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Bullying hs been around forever, so what? Lol. So was slavery in many parts of the world before we finally decided to abolish it. It's not like we can't abolish bullying, anymore than it was possible to abolish slavery.

      April 1, 2012 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  7. Lo Jenk


    March 13, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Gus

    Hunger Games, a story about teens and 12 year olds killing each other, that gets PG-13, but this gets an R. What a backward society we sometimes live in.

    March 13, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. mike

    Bullying compared to torture? Seriously? Only if you think torture is the silent treatment. Unreal.

    March 13, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • wendy

      There are lots of different kinds of torture. Silence is one. Repeated degradation, violence. All the things that bullies do, are different kinds of torture. When is the world going to wake up and recognize bullying as the serious crisis that it is.

      March 18, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. duh

    chocolate icing?

    March 13, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  11. tracie 2

    No way ! I'm a lesbean.

    March 13, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  12. lol @ tracie 2

    Yea and then u eat them!

    March 13, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  13. tracie 2

    Trolls are like icing on a delicious cake. They are wonderful and a great gift to all mankind.

    March 13, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  14. tracie 2

    They are really mean and hurtful. I don't care for bullies. Trolls are way cool though. Hella-Cool.

    March 13, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jen

    Y don't they call bullys, trolls or trolls, bullys-all the same.

    March 13, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |

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