Bully et la véritable obscénité

With its unerring instinct for being on the wrong side of every major social and aesthetic issue, the Motion Picture Association of America’s ratings board has refused to budge off its R rating for Bully, an earnest and moving documentary made for and about tormented preteens and teenagers. There’s almost a perverse, Santorum-style integrity about the MPAA’s staunch resistance. Its ratings board — an anonymous group of Los Angeles-area parents — stands tall for some unspecified and imaginary set of American values, in the face of a viral lobbying campaign that has enlisted Justin Bieber, Johnny Depp, Martha Stewart, Ellen DeGeneres and nearly 500,000 other people, and made an overnight media celebrity out of 17-year-old Katy Butler, a self-described victim of bullying who started the online petition.


As I see it, the smatterings of profane language make a convenient stand-in for all the stuff in Bully that’s genuinely obscene, and that can and should make us all uncomfortable. Like the story of Kelby Johnson of Tuttle, Okla., a 16-year-old out lesbian who has been ostracized by her entire town, including her teachers, school officials and other authorities; or 17-year-old Tyler Long of rural Georgia, an awkward and introverted kid who hanged himself in his bedroom closet after years of taking abuse from classmates and being ignored by adults; or 14-year-old Ja’Meya Jackson of Yazoo County, Miss., who went to prison after confronting her school-bus tormentors with a loaded gun.

Why the MPAA doesn’t want your kid to see Bully, Salon. Assez jeunes pour être sadisés mais trop jeunes pour en être informés, le comble de l’obscène. Au cœur de ce débat, on sent que la question de l’homosexualité supposée ou réelle, l’«étrangeté» de ces enfants, crispe la MPAA, comme elle aveugle toutes les associations familialistes. Une pétition a été lancée pour que la MPAA revienne sur sa décision.. Les producteurs ont annoncé qu’ils sortiraient le documentaire dans les salles sans classement.