AMC gave the Motion Pictures Association of America a big old middle finger today, posting a printable Bully permission slip to its website. All kids have to do is get their parents to sign and date the thing, and they'll be admitted to any AMC screening of the documentary.
The Weinstein Company, who produced the film and has been fighting for its universal viewage, already had their middle-finger moment on Monday...
... when they decided to dismiss the MPAA's "R" rating (for several uses of the word "fuck," because under-17-year-olds don't know what that means) and just go with "unrated."
The Parents Television Council went ballistic in a statement:
"This move, regardless of intentions, sets a precedent that threatens to derail the entire ratings system. If a distribution company can simply decide to operate outside of the ratings system in a case like Bully, nothing would prevent future filmmakers from doing precisely the same thing, with potentially much more problematic material."
But the AMC permission slip is a whole new battleground. The theater franchise is brushing aside all possible legal ramifications in the name of the cause -- and isn't shying from taking sides in a contentious industry battle.
"Bully is a documentary with a significantly relevant message for a broad audience, including teenagers," AMC spokesman Ryan Noonan tells the Weekly.
The permission slip is as awesome as it sounds. Yes, Noonan confirms, all a kid has to do is show up with a signature on the signature line and a date on the date line. Whether or not it's actually from a parent will not be verified by theater staff. Noonan also says there is no minimum age for using the slip.
Oh, and it's completely adorable:What is this sweet land of lawlessness formerly known as Hollywood?! Because we could really get used to it.
Bully opens at AMC Century City on Friday.
But don't get any ideas, kids: AMC says this is a one-time thing, and that its usual parent-accompaniment rule on other R-rated films is still in place. So no whiting out the Bully movie poster and replacing it with 21 Jump Street.