Naomi Watts and Susan Sarandon are joining the Weinstein Company’s fight against the R-rating given to her upcoming drama, “3 Generations”.
In the film, Watts stars as Maggie, the single mother of the teenage Ray, played by Elle Fanning who, after a lifetime of struggling wither her birth gender, is determined to begin transitioning to a male gender. Maggie and her lesbian mother, played by Sarandon, are supportive of Ray’s decision to transition but must track down the teen’s estranged birth father in order to have him give his medical consent.
The movie, which premiered back in 2015 at the Toronto International Film Festival under the title “About Ray”, is poised to be released in the U.S. this spring. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has given the film an R-rating for strong language and some sexual scenes. The R-rating is equivalent to Canada’s 18A rating, but film ratings classification varies by province.
Both Watts and Sarandon released statements in their support of the Weinstein Company’s fight to repeal the strong rating.
“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,” Watts’ statement reads, according to Just Jared. “‘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.”
Sarandon’s had similar sentiments, saying “‘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.”
Weinstein Company head Harvey Weinstein adds, “[Director] Gaby Dellal, 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.”
Also joining the battle is Sarah Kate Ellis, the president and CEO of GLAAD, with Deadline reporting she fired off a letter to the head of the MPAA to seek a more family-friendly rating.
As Ellis points out, Hollywood has “a shockingly awful history when it comes to telling the stories of transgender people,” who have typically been depicted as “psychopathic killers, deviant freaks, or pathetic victims,” she writes.
“A transgender teenager has never been included in a mainstream film, despite dozens of television shows that have depicted stories in one-off episodes or as regular characters,” says Ellis, adding: “Your decision to give 3 Generations a restrictive ‘R’ rating sends a dangerous message to this already marginalized community.”
You can read Ellis’ entire letter right here.
The film, which is to be released by eOne in Canada at a later date, has not yet been rated here.