The Weinstein Co. and Microsoft’s Bing have joined on an initiative to raise awareness of bullying, its inherent dangers, and the heartbreaking damage it causes. It obviously also will serve to promote Bully, the anti-bullying documentary that has taken the unusual risk of being released without a rating.

The joint multi-million dollar, multi-media partnership includes a TV and online ad campaign starting April 2. Microsoft also will host relevant videos, disseminate information via social media, give away tickets and more. Bing also sponsored last night’s (March 26) official premiere in Los Angeles, which was hosted by E!’s Giuliana Rancic and Joel McHale with Victoria Justice.

Weinstein working with Bing also will draw further attention to the controversy over the Motion Picture Assn. of America’s ratings system that led to Bully being one of the rare major motion pictures to have an unrated release. The MPAA had determined the film would have an “R” rating, primarily due to coarse language and obscenities the documentary captured some children using. This would have meant those under 17 – an audience the filmmakers want to reach – can’t see the movie without an adult guardian. A groundswell of criticism points out that this is stricter than the PG-13 rating the MPAA assigned to films with a considerable amount of violence, like The Hunger Games, The Fast and the Furious, Terminator Salvation and Jaws.

“Bing is an innovative search engine that can help connect people with resources to educate and drive awareness about this important cause,” said TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein. “It is truly inspiring to collaborate with a company like Bing that sees the value in using their voice and influence for an issue like this that affects children everywhere.”

Directed by Sundance and Emmy-award winning filmmaker, Lee Hirsch, Bully is a cinematic, character-driven documentary that follows five kids and families over the course of a school year. Its stories include two families who have lost children to suicide and a mother awaiting the fate of her 14-year-old daughter who has been incarcerated after bringing a gun on her school bus. With an intimate glimpse into homes, classrooms, cafeterias and principals’ offices, the film offers insight into the often cruel world of the lives of bullied children and aims to be a catalyst for change in the way we deal with bullying.

Related links: