By Adam B. Vary
Updated March 27, 2012 at 09:05 PM EDT
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Following AMC Theaters’ decision to screen the unrated version of the documentary Bully at theaters in New York and Los Angeles, the Parents Television Council has released a statement calling on AMC and all other major theater chains to keep to their policy of only screening films rated by the MPAA. “This move, regardless of intentions, sets a precedent that threatens to derail the entire ratings system,” said PTC head Tim Winter in a statement. “If a distribution company can simply decide to operate outside of the ratings system in a case like Bully, nothing would prevent future filmmakers from doing precisely the same thing, with potentially much more problematic material.”

The Weinstein Company announced yesterday that it would release Bully unrated rather than with an R rating from the MPAA for multiple instances of profane language, which would prevent theaters from allowing teenagers to see the film without a parent or guardian. Nearly 500,000 people have signed Michigan high school student Katy Butler’s petition urging the MPAA to lower the rating.

You can read the full PTC statement below:

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