The Weinstein Company is challenging the Motion Picture Association of America's R rating of the studio's upcoming film 3 Generations, which stars Elle Fanning as a transgender teen named Ray. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the MPAA slapped the film with an R rating for "language and some sexual references." But according to the makers and stars of 3 Generations, this is a film that needs to be seen by young people especially.
"3 Generations is an important movie for everyone to see, especially transgender youth who are feeling isolated or fearful and their families," said Susan Sarandon, who plays Ray's gay grandmother, in a statement obtained by THR. "It's ridiculous to have an R rating, which would prevent this audience from seeing the film."
Naomi Watts, who co-stars as Ray's mother, echoed a similar sentiment. "It is important for teenagers to see it and the R rating doesn't reflect today's society," Watts said in a statement. "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."
Harvey Weinstein added, "The fact that an R rating would prevent high school students from seeing this film would truly be a travesty." Indeed, studies show that young adults who identify as trans experience significantly higher rates of bullying, violence, and suicide. Downgrading it to a PG-13 rating would allow that demographic to see the film.
Weinstein feels "confident" that TWC and the MPAA will reach an agreement. The studio's 2010 film Blue Valentine, starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, was downgraded to an R after TWC challenged the NC-17 rating.
No matter what rating it receives, 3 Generations may attract more controversy due to the casting of a cisgender person in a transgender role, denying trans actors the opportunities to tell their own stories.
3 Generations hits theaters May 5.