News Extras

March 27, 2012

Business, Education, Entertainment


The Weinstein Company has rejected the MPAA‘s R rating, announcing that it will release “Bully” unrated on March 30 

Source:  Indiewire

TWC announced its intention to fight the MPAA rating on February 21. Since then, the movement has seen support from celebrities including Meryl Streep and Johnny Depp as well as an online petition created by a bullying victim.

The Weinstein battle also generated some additional controversy from a former Miramax employee, who was inspired to write an open letter to Harvey Weinstein asking if it was possible for him to stop his own bullying. (TWC responded with its own letter.)

Here’s the release; we’re reaching out to the MPAA and to TWC for further comment.

After a recent plea to the MPAA by BULLY teen Alex Libby and The Weinstein Company (TWC) Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein failed – by one vote – to get the film its deserved PG-13 rating, TWC is choosing to move forward with releasing the film unrated by the MPAA on March 30.

Furthering proof that the R rating for some language is inappropriate for a film that’s meant to educate and help parents, teachers, school officials and children with what’s become an epidemic in schools around the country, the fight against the rating continues on.

Harvey Weinstein and bullied student Alex Libby

The outpour of support by politicians, schools, parents, celebrities and activists for the film’s mission to be seen by those it was made for – children – has been overwhelming. Nearly half a million people have signed Michigan high school student and former bullying victim Katy Butler’s petition on to urge the MPAA to lower the rating.

Said BULLY Director Lee Hirsch, “The small amount of language in the film that’s responsible for the R rating is there because it’s real. It’s what the children who are victims of bullying face on most days. All of our supporters see that, and we’re grateful for the support we’ve received across the board. I know the kids will come, so it’s up to the theaters to let them in.”

“The kids and families in this film are true heroes, and we believe theater owners everywhere will step up and do what’s right for the benefit of all of the children out there who have been bullied or may have otherwise become bullies themselves. We’re working to do everything we can to make this film available to as many parents, teachers and students across the country,” said TWC President of Marketing Stephen Bruno.

For parents or teachers who are looking for more information or who may have concerns about showing children a movie unrated by the MPAA, please read Common Sense Media‘s rating details of the film here:

“While it’s often heartbreaking and deals with tough issues like suicide, the movie addresses bullying in a frank and relatable way that is age appropriate for teens and relevant for middle schoolers if an adult is present to guide the discussion,” said James P. Steyer, Founder and CEO, Common Sense Media.

“The MPAA’s ratings system is inadequate when it comes looking at a movie’s content through the lens of its larger thematic issues. Common Sense Media provides alternative ratings for parents who are looking for more guidance and context than the MPAA provides.”

BULLY will be released in theaters on Friday, March 30th in New York at the Angelika Film Center and AMC Lincoln Square and in Los Angeles at The Landmark, ArcLight Hollywood and AMC Century City.

BULLY is a beautifully cinematic, character-driven documentary. At its heart are those with huge stakes in this issue whose stories each represent a different facet of America’s bullying crisis. Filmed over the course of the 2009/2010 school year, BULLY opens a window onto the pained and often endangered lives of bullied kids, revealing a problem that transcends geographic, racial, ethnic and economic borders.

It documents the responses of teachers and administrators to aggressive behaviors that defy “kids will be kids” clichés, and it captures a growing movement among parents and youths to change how bullying is handled in schools, in communities and in society as a whole.

Minority Media Veteran Launches First of Its Kind Nightlife Mobile App for African-Americans

Source:  BlackNews.Com 

Redwood City, CA — Excel Media Wire, a leading authority in the minority and African American media markets, has launched a game-changing mobile application targeting tech-savvy African Americans. InSpotter, the application name, is positioned to become the trendsetting authority on African American nightlife, entertainment and shopping, as well as social and cultural events in multiple major metropolises.

The slick, user-friendly application is available to download free on iPhone and Android. InSpotter mobile app is easily accessible and poised to hit it big with social-media loving trendsetters.  By focusing on a previously neglected demographic, InSpotter is capturing the attention of a market that is already plugged in with their smart phones but does not have an app to fulfill their needs.

With real time profiles on African America‘s most innovative and quality-driven nightlife venues, InSpotter caters to the unique preferences of urbanites with a desire to stay on top of the trends, ideas, and culture in their community. By tapping into the spirit of the in-crowd, InSpotter helps users find everything from the latest hot spots to well-kept secret bars and restaurants, searching high and low for the best each major metropolis has to offer the African American consumer.

“With InSpotter, we’re filling a gaping niche in the African American online media market,” explains Bert Johnson, CEO of Excel Media Wire. “African Americans are more likely than Caucasian cell phone users to text message, use social networking sites, browse the internet, use email and post multimedia content online, making an application like InSpotter a high demand tool for this demographic.”

Yet, despite the fact that African Americans represent a techy-savvy minority group already well versed in social media, InSpotter is the first mobile application of its kind to tap affluent African American trendsetters. By capturing their attention with top-quality content, a slick user interface and carefully handpicked advertisers, InSpotter will stake a lasting claim in a highly coveted market.

The 5th Annual Sista-2-Sista Youth Summit Invites High School Girls to Celebrate Women’s History Month with Susan L. Taylor, Black Girls Rock! And Michaela Davis

Source:  BlackNews.Com

The Gye Name Empowerment Project presents "Celebrating The Sista Within", its Fifth Annual Youth Summit and Awards Ceremony to Gather, Empower and Inspire Young Women of Color. --

New York, NY — In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Gye Name Empowerment Project (GNEP) will host their 5th Annual Sista-2-Sista Youth Summit Saturday, March 31, 2012 from 9:00am – 6:30pm at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, NY. The Sista-2-Sista Youth Summit is a vibrant interactive day that is comprised of dynamic workshops, educational activities, live entertainment and engaging conversations.

This year’s keynote speaker is the world renowned Susan L. Taylor, who is a global icon, editor, author, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Essence Magazine and Founder of National CARES Mentoring Movement. In addition, S2S honorees, panelists and performers include: Black Girls Rock!, Michaela Angela Davis, Toni Blackman, Queen Godis and Girls for Gender Equity.

The Sista-2-Sista Youth Summit is a full day of engaging activities and conversations, and it enhances the personal development, social awareness, self-love and sisterhood of young and older woman of Pan-African decent. This year’s Sista-2-Sista Youth Summit, titled “Celebrating The Sista Within”, will open with a West African Dance Class, followed by a series of interactive workshops each facilitated by a dynamic team of one adult and one young woman.

The workshops include powerful topics such as: Forgiveness: Access to Freedom; Aliveness: Creating a Life Worth Living and Get Fly!: Presentation as Power.  In addition to teen girls being invited to participate, their mothers, teachers, aunts, mentors and other influential women in their lives are also encouraged to attend the Woman-2-Woman educational workshops.

Workshops will take place simultaneously and the day will culminate with an acknowledgement ceremony led by rites of passage expert Monica C. Dennis of S.O.W Leadership Development Institute. The closing awards ceremony will honor Girls for Gender Equity, Michaela Angela Davis and announce the winner of the Andrea D. Brown Book Scholarship to a high achieving high school female senior attending college during the Fall of 2012.

Confirmed musical guests include mentees from Black Girls Rock!, Rhyme Like A Girl (RLAG) and Queen Godis.  Sista-2-Sista Youth Summit is a grassroots conference developed by GNEP founder Akua Soadwa and with the help of community supporters and individual volunteers it has blossomed into a full day summit and awards ceremony.

It began as a vision during Soadwa’s undergraduate years at Mount Holyoke and since its inception in 2007 it has received extensive recognition hailing a large variety of prominent figures such as Beverly Bond, Marsha Ambrosius, Lauren Lake, Sonia Alleyne, D. Woods, Kay Foxx, Sil Lai Abrams and many more.

“This year’s summit reflects the tremendous growth of the Gye Nyame Empowerment Project and the continual impact we’ve had on New York area high school girls,” said 30-year old GNEP Founder Akua Soadwa. “We are thrilled to continue our strong tradition of empowering girls and women of Pan-African descent who will in turn empower others.”

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