Ad hoc proliferation of rules—and slavish adherence to them—will produce such effects:

The documentary Bully follows the lives of five children who experience abuse daily but the rating means it will not be shown in schools and many young people, who the makers wanted to see the film, will not be able to.

The decision by the Motion Picture Association of America, which oversees movie ratings, has been contrasted with the much more lenient PG-13 label it gave to The Hunger Games, an forthcoming science fiction epic in which 12 teenagers are selected to take part in a death match until only one is left.

More than 300,000 people, including Hollywood stars Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep, have signed a petition asking the MPAA to give Bully the same rating as The Hunger Games.

Support has also come from parents’ groups, filmmakers, teenagers and politicians on the left and right, who want the documentary’s message against bullying to be shown to children themselves.

The “R” for restricted classification means anyone under 17 must be accompanied by an adult, while PG-13 means “some material may be inappropriate for children under 13”, but it does not restrict entry.

As we like to say here at Twitchy, read the whole thing. Just because changes are advocated by celebrities doesn’t mean absolutely that they must be wrong. Occasionally.

Previously on Twitchy.