A new drama film about a transgender teen has escaped a US R rating that advocates say would have made it harder for transgender youth to see it.
“3 Generations” stars actress Elle Fanning as a teenager who is struggling with the gender assigned to him at birth and is determined to begin transitioning to male.
But he is forced to track down his biological father to obtain consent to do so. Australian actress Naomi Watts and Susan Sarandon play the character’s mother and grandmother.
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) originally gave the film an R rating, a decision that was challenged by the film’s producers The Weinstein Company because it would have prohibited moviegoers under the age of 17 from seeing the movie without a parent.
The Weinstein Company argued teenagers need to see the film, given its themes of acceptance and inclusion, and this week the studio announced they’d made cuts to the film – mostly for language, according to The Hollywood Reporter – as a compromise to ensure the less restrictive PG-13 rating and allow the movie to be screened in high schools.
Producer Harvey Weinstein said he’s “thrilled” that a solution had been found “that maintains the integrity of this crucial film while making it accessible to its intended audience.”
US LGBTI lobby group GLAAD also joined in the protest, with CEO Kate Ellis previously saying the film’s R-rating was “dangerous” for the transgender community and perpetuated the myth that LGBTI topics are “adult” in nature.
“It sends the message that something about being transgender is somehow not appropriate for children,” she wrote in Variety.
“It creates an unnecessary hurdle for transgender youth who want to see the film and a character that they can finally connect with.”
In a statement, Ellis applauded The Weinstein Company for their persistence and said the MPAA had made the right decision with the PG-13 rating.
“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,” she said.
A Change.org petition protesting the R-rating received close to 35,000 signatures in a week.
Watch the movie’s trailer below: