ANN ARBOR (Talk Radio 1270) What’s it like to be a bully? Ann Arbor director Amy Weber is tackling that subject in her next movie “The Bully Chronicles.”
Weber visited the Charlie Langton Talk Radio 1270 morning show Wednesday to discuss her movies and the epidemic of bullying alongside teen anti-bullying activist Katy Butler, who will take part in “The Bully Chronicles.”
“If we really want to solve this issue, we have to get to the source of this issue, which is the bully,” Weber said. “For me there’s no other way to tackle it than to get into the heart of why this problem is an epidemic.”
Butler, 17, a student at Green Hills High School in Ann Arbor and former victim of bullying, weighed in on the topic after making national news in March when she successfully led the nation-wide campaign to lower the rating of anti-bullying film “Bully.”
Butler led her campaign after seeing a trailer for “Bully” and feeling like people her age had to be able to see it. The movie was rated R for use of the F-word.
“It looked like such a great movie, it had such a great message, but then I saw that it was rated R and I thought “This is ridiculous, this is my life, this is kids’ lives.”
Butler went on change.org and started a petition demanding that the rating on the movie be changed. She collected more than a half-million signatures and hand delivered the petition to the Motion Picture Association of America in Los Angeles, pitching them on why the rating had to be lowered.
In the end, she won. “It was incredible, it was a huge win,” Butler said.
Now, she’s on to “The Bully Chronicles” which will be locally filmed and produced by Weber, who was named the 2011 Michigan Filmmaker of the Year for her last film “Annabelle and Bear.”
“I was bullied in middle school for being openly gay,” Butler said. “It was horrible being bullied as a middle schooler … You just feel so alone, it’s horrible.
“People called me names, they knocked my stuff over, one day they ended up slamming my hand in my locker and breaking my finger,” Butler added, saying, “I didn’t tell anyone because I was afraid it was going to get worse.”
Now, she hopes the upcoming “Bully Chronicles” and other efforts help kids like her get through school unscathed.
Weber’s sister Melissa from Royal Oak weighed in on the importance of the “Bullying Chronicles,” saying, “This project is quite incredible … What I wanted to say is ‘The Bully Chronicles’ is a game changer in this situation. It’s the first time anyone has taken a look at the bully vs. the bullied, and that is historical … The only way you can save a victim is to save a bully.”
Weber will be holding an open casting call for area teens on May 19 and 20. Get more information HERE.