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Harvey Weinstein up in arms as ‘The Tillman Story’ gets an R-rating

By Scott Mendelson

HollywoodNews.com: Distributor Harvey Weinstein, director Amir Bav Lev, and producer John Battsek is up in arms today because their upcoming documentary, “The Tillman Story,” has been slapped with an R-rating for ‘excessive language’. Apparently, the critically-acclaimed look into the death of Pat Tillman in Afghanistan and subsequent cover-up of the friendly-fire incident, contains three uses of the ‘F’-word. I get the outrage, but it’s a pretty simple idea. This isn’t the MPAA giving an R for intensity or overwhelming violence or a certain amount of sexuality. This is too many uses of the F-word, period, end of story. Everyone and their brother knows that at best you can have two of them and get a PG-13. The makers broke one of the MPAA’s few iron-clad rules for a PG-13 and are now complaining about it. If Weinstein and company want the PG-13, then just bleep one or two of them out.

I’m pretty darn sure that the film will lose little if any of its power by having two less uses of the word ‘fuck’. Either stick to your guns and go out with an R, stop whining, edit the word and get your PG-13, or do what Morgan Spurlock did with “Super Size Me” (originally PG-13 for profanity and drug references) and make an ‘educational version’ to be shown in class rooms. If “The Tillman Story” is supposed to be an educational tool, then it should be of certain importance that it be used for that purpose. I said the same thing last year about Michael Moore leaving in three ‘fuck’s in the R-rated “Capitalism: A Love Story.” If Moore wanted that film to be used as an educational tool, there is no excuse not to cut those two of those out (one of which was Moore himself grandstanding in voice over) and win a more kid-friendly PG rating (the movie has no otherwise objectionable content).

To read more go to Mendelson’s Memos.

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