Mmm-hmm: "'I am not being Harvey Weinstein, showman,' he said in a separate interview on Friday. 'I am not using the ratings system for publicity. Yes, I’ve done it in the past. Mea culpa for that.' But, he said of Bully, 'this is completely out of passion.'" [NYT]
You don't need me to explain to you how Harvey Weinstein is half huckster-genius and half megalomaniac witch doctor (even though I have, again and again and again). Find all the evidence you need in Thursday's announcement that Bully — the "controversial" documentary chronicling America's bullying epidemic — would finally receive the PG-13 rating it so conspicuously sought from the MPAA. The best part: It won't even have to trim the offending scene at the heart of all the publicity to date. Surprise! Suckers.
It has come to this for "unaccompanied" teenagers desperate to see the unrated Bully: "An AMC spokesman said it will indeed allow that, but only if the child presents a signed permission slip from a parent, either via a form letter made available by the theater or an improvised note on a standard piece of paper. The move is an apparent attempt to support the film -- AMC executive Gerry Lopez has two teenagers and has been vocal about its importance -- while still paying deference to the Motion Picture Assn. of America and its ratings system." Related: Is Harvey Weinstein just recycling tricks from his Kids playbook? [LAT]
While the latest chapter in the rapidly expanding mythology of Harvey Weinstein involves the mogul shooting down a pitch from President Obama ("I sent him an e-mail back saying he was the most overqualified book scout I've ever had"), I remain preoccupied with the saga surrounding Bully, the Weinstein Company doc still embroiled in a battle with the MPAA ratings board to overturn its R for strong language. The publicity clamor continued Wednesday with a young bully victim dropping off a petition with a reported 200,000 signatures to MPAA HQ and Ellen Degeneres discussing the "controversy" on her show. But it's what quietly came the day before that seems the most intriguing.