Weinsteins challenge R-rating for transgender drama 3 Generations

Ben Bussey
·UK Movies Writer
Elle Fanning, Naomi Watts and Susan Sarandon in '3 Generations' (credit: The Weinstein Company)
Elle Fanning, Naomi Watts and Susan Sarandon in ‘3 Generations’ (credit: The Weinstein Company)

The Weinstein Company have launched an appeal against the Motion Picture Association of America’s decision to give drama ‘3 Generations’ an R-rating.

Made in 2015 and originally entitled ‘About Ray,’ the film from director/co-writer Gaby Dellal stars Elle Fanning as Ray, a teenage transgender male anxious to start transitioning. Naomi Watts stars as Ray’s mother Frances, whilst Susan Sarandon is Ray’s lesbian grandmother Dolly, and the film follows their struggles in coming to terms with Ray’s decision.

The MPAA has officially given ‘3 Generations’ an R (broadly equivalent to Britain’s 15, with no viewers under 17 allowed entry without a parent or guardian) because of ‘language and sexual references.’ However, TWC are challenging this, demanding the film be passed as a PG-13 (equivalent to the 12A).

In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Watts, also an executive producer on the film, argues, “This film is a beautiful and touching story about family and identity. It is important for teenagers to see it and the R rating doesn’t reflect today’s society.

“‘3 Generations doesn’t have a bad bone in its body. It’s an expression of love, acceptance, strength and honesty — values that could not be more necessary right now.”

Elle Fanning and Naomi Watts in '3 Generations' (credit: The Weinstein Company)
Elle Fanning and Naomi Watts in ‘3 Generations’ (credit: The Weinstein Company)

Producer/studio boss Harvey Weinstein adds, “Gaby, Naomi, Susan and Elle made this movie to share its message of acceptance and inclusion with all generations. The fact that an R rating would prevent high school students from seeing this film would truly be a travesty.

“The MPAA and I were able to come to an agreement on ‘Bully,’ and I am confident that we will be able to do so again.”

‘Bully,’ the 2011 documentary from director Lee Hirsch, had initially been passed as an R by the MPAA for similar reasons to ‘3 Generations,’ but after an appeal from TWC the rating was reduced to a PG-13. TWC also challenged the R-rating given to Oscar-winner ‘The King’s Speech,’ although in that case they were forced to release the film in an amended cut for a PG-13. (‘The King’s Speech’ was passed as a 12A in Britain, despite multiple uses of the F-word.)

‘3 Generations’ is set to go on limited release in the US from 5 May; no UK release is scheduled at present.

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