Producer Harvey Weinstein got all the free publicity he could want for waging war on the MPAA over its initial rating of his new documentary “Bully.”
Weinstein clearly wasn’t thinking ahead to what the collateral damage would be to the ratings board as well as concerned parents who rely on it when taking their kids to the movies.
John Fithian, the president of the [National Association of Theater Owners], asserted that Mr. Weinstein had unwisely jeopardized a good system to generate publicity for his movie….Asked in an interview on Friday whether the ratings system had been damaged by Mr. Weinstein’s repeated, and much-publicized, challenges, Mr. Fithian said, “Absolutely.”
Weinstein admitted his past MPAA challenges were publicity stunts but swears he had more noble intentions surrounding “Bully.”
But we’re already seeing some fallout from Weinstein’s epic battle against the current ratings system. Director Ridley Scott is publicly complaining about the edits he’ll need to make in order to earn his next feature, “Prometheus,” a marketing-friendly PG-13 rating.
And if “Bully” over performs at the box office this weekend – the film’s release platform expands to new cities starting Friday – other producers will be eager to pick new ratings fights for publicity value alone.