TWC to challenge MPAA rating on Elle Fanning’s Transgender film

Earlier today The Weinstein Company announced that the studio plans to officially challenge the Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) decision to assign an “R” rating to “3 GENERATIONS”. The film is set to release later this year, and features Elle Fanning, Naomi Watts, and Susan Sarandon. The film focuses heavily on the young transgender community, and their families, which will most likely not be able to see the film if it has an R rating.

The studio claims that the film “provides an authentic and sensitive portrayal of what it means to be a transgender youth in today’s society.” The studio also stated that the film shows “the enormous impact familial support can have as one transitions.” The film was given an “R” by the MPAA, citing language and some sexual references.

Executive producer Naomi Watts, who stars in the film as Ray’s mother Maggie, commented: “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.”

TWC Co-Chairman Harvey commented, “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.”

Susan Sarandon, who stars in the film as Ray’s grandmother commented, “3 GENERATIONS is an important movie for everyone to see, especially transgender youth who are feeling isolated or fearful and their families. It’s ridiculous to have an R rating which would prevent this audience from seeing the film.”

Director and Co-writer Gaby Dellal commented, “As a mother and a filmmaker, I want to speak to kids, to parents, and to grandparents everywhere in a common language of love and inclusion about a subject matter that is not only real and complicated, but one that is important and alive today. 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. Our story wants to humanize this family experience, and to take the mystery out of the secrets. I hope the MPAA will reconsider this R rating and encourage children to see this story and feel connected.”

3 GENERATIONS follows Ray (Elle Fanning), a teenager who has struggled with the body assigned to him at birth and is determined to start transitioning. His single mother Maggie (Naomi Watts) must track down Ray’s biological father (Tate Donovan) to get his legal consent to allow Ray’s transition. Dolly (Susan Sarandon), Ray’s lesbian grandmother, is having a hard time accepting that she now has a grandson. The film follows their journey as each confronts their own identity and learns to embrace change while ultimately finding acceptance and understanding.

TWC has enlisted the help of top Hollywood lawyer David Boies to advise on their dissent. Largely known for his pivotal role to overturn Proposition 8, California’s discriminatory ban on gay marriage, back in 2009, Boies has consulted on numerous human rights issues for TWC including censorship of the Academy Award nominated film CAROL, as well as a previous protest of the MPAA’s rating of the documentary BULLY. Initially given an “R” rating for similar reasons, TWC successfully challenged the MPAA and brought BULLY’s rating down to PG-13, making it more accessible for the intended audience.

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