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February 29, 2012 at 12:00 PM EST

In yet another update on the saga of the contentious documentary Bully – which lost its appeal to have its R rating changed to PG-13 and could now face a dreaded NC-17 — Rev. Jesse Jackson has released a statement supporting a PG-13 rating for the Weinstein Company film:

Bully is a movie that depicts the nightmare that some kids face every day in schools across America.  This harsh reality must not be edited especially considering how bullying has become a horrible form of violence.  It drives individuals to suicide and even retaliation.  Children are afraid to go to school and therefore their educational productivity decreases.  It creates violent reactions in our children and they must be allowed to see the movie as it was intended to help raise awareness, increase empathy and change minds.”

Jackson joins the heated debate surrounding the documentary, which takes a brutal look at the epidemic of teen bullying in America, which has also been supported by more than 130,000 people who have signed a petition started by a bullied Michigan high school student admonishing the MPAA to reconsider its rating, as we reported yesterday. EW also caught up with Harvey Weinstein himself regarding the MPAA’s decision, which he called a “gigantic mistake” and “an injustice to a bunch of kids who’ve been beaten up and suffered a little too much at the hands of a crazy society that allows that kind of stuff.”

Read more:

‘Bully’ doc could be treated like an NC-17 movie, theater owners warn Weinstein Company

‘Bully’ doc loses ‘R’ rating appeal; Weinstein Co. threatens to leave MPAA

Harvey Weinstein responds to MPAA decision on ‘Bully’ — VIDEO

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