The news comes after the film, starring Naomi Watts, Elle Fanning, and Susan Sarandon, was originally slapped with an R-rating, which was challenged by TWC with support from GLAAD. According to a release from the studio, it made some cuts to the film as a compromise to ensure the PG-13 rating.
“‘3 Generations’ is a film that all families should be able to see,” said GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis in a statement. “When audiences around the world meet transgender teen Ray and see the love that his family shows him, it will not only send a powerful message to LGBTQ youth, but to families of all types. The MPAA made the right decision and once again The Weinstein Company dared to tell culture-changing LGBTQ stories that Hollywood too often shies away from.”
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Added TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein, “It’s organizations such as GLAAD, the ones that don’t shy away from the difficult conversations, that are the reason we are able to move this country forward and really shift the cultural conversations. I spoke with Joan Graves at MPAA extensively on this and I am thrilled that we came to a solution that maintains the integrity of this crucial film while making it accessible to its intended audience.”
“This film has gone through all of the regular procedures outlined in CARA’s Rules. While we cannot discuss the process for a particular film due to a confidentiality agreement, we can confirm that TWC has accepted the PG-13 rating for the last version of 3 Generations screened by CARA,” MPAA spokesperson Chris Ortman said in a statement. “While we regularly meet with a wide range of organizations to discuss the rating system, no outside groups have any influence on the rating process. Each film is rated by a team of raters, who are themselves parents, in order to serve CARA’s purpose of providing information to parents about viewing choices for their children.”
The film’s new rating is for “mature thematic content, some sexual references and language.” Its previous, stricter R-rating was for profanity and sexual references.
In challenging the R-rating, which would have prohibited moviegoers under the age of 17 from seeing the movie without a parent or guardian, TWC argued that it’s a film that needs to be seen by high schoolers, given its themes of acceptance and inclusion. GLAAD quickly joined the fight, with Ellis writing in a guest column for Variety that the R-rating was “dangerous” for the transgender community.
“It sends the message that something about being transgender is somehow not appropriate for children,” she wrote. “It creates an unnecessary hurdle for transgender youth who want to see the film, and a character that they can finally connect with. The MPAA’s antiquated decision follows a tired narrative that LGBTQ topics are solely adult in nature — when nothing could be further from the truth.”
A change.org petition protesting the MPAA’s decision also garnered nearly 35,000 signatures since its launch last week. Following the release of the petition, Ellis and Weinstein spoke with Joan Graves, head of the classification and rating administration for the MPAA, to mediate a solution, according to TWC’s announcement.
It’s not the first time Weinstein has won in contesting a rating, having succeeded in challenging the NC-17 ratings of 1996’s “Clerks” and 2010’s “Blue Valentine.”
“3 Generations,” previously titled “About Ray,” stars Fanning as a teenager who has struggled with the body assigned to him at birth and is determined to start transitioning, but must track down his biological father to obtain legal consent to do so. Watts and Sarandon play Fanning’s mother and grandmother, respectively.
“3 Generations” opens in New York and Los Angeles on May 5 and expands on May 12.