The Weinstein Company has announced plans to challenge the Motion Picture Association of America’s decision to give an R rating to its upcoming film 3 Generations. The MPAA cites language, including some sexual references.
Elle Fanning stars in the film as Ray, a young man who was assigned female at birth. Naomi Watts and Susan Sarandon play Ray’s mother and lesbian grandmother, who must learn to adapt as Ray begins transitioning.
“This film is a beautiful and touching story about family and identity,” says Watts, who is also an executive producer, in a statement. “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.”
“3 Generations is an important movie for everyone to see, especially transgender youth who are feeling isolated or fearful and their families,” adds Sarandon. “It’s ridiculous to have an ’R’ rating which would prevent this audience from seeing the film.”
TWC has enlisted the aid of top Hollywood lawyer David Boies to advise on their dissent. Boies, who had a pivotal role in overturning California’s Prop. 8, previously helped challenge censorship of the studio’s films Carol and Bully.
“There are kids all over this country that are still too fearful to speak out and to step out; they’re too alone to fight, lacking the kinds of support that would let them feel free to be themselves,” says director and co-writer Gaby Dellal, who has defended casting a cisgender woman in the title role. “I hope the MPAA will reconsider this ’R’ rating and encourage children to see this story and feel connected.”
“Gaby, Naomi, Susan, and Elle made this movie to share its message of acceptance and inclusion with all generations,” says TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein. “The fact that an ’R’ rating would prevent high school students from seeing this film would truly be a travesty.”
3 Generations first screened in 2015 at the Toronto International Film Festival with the title About Ray. Following reedits, it will finally open May 5 in theaters.
Watch a new trailer for the film below.