NEW YORK, April 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Moments before The Weinstein Company screened BULLY at The White House today, President Barack Obama announced his support for two crucial bills that will protect students from bullying. Both bills tackle bullying in different ways. SNDA would ban harassment in public elementary and secondary schools based on a student's actual or perceived LGBT status. SSIA would require schools to adopt anti-bullying codes of conduct and submit data to the Department of Education on bullying. The President's announcement coincides with the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network's (GLSEN) 17th annual Day of Silence, which is a vow of silence to draw attention to the anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. BULLY expands in theaters nationwide today.
The White House released this statement today: "The President and his Administration have taken many steps to address the issue of bullying. He is proud to support the Student Non-Discrimination Act, introduced by Senator Franken and Congressman Polis, and the Safe Schools Improvement Act, introduced by Senator Casey and Congresswoman Linda Sanchez. These bills will help ensure that all students are safe and healthy and can learn in environments free from discrimination, bullying and harassment."
In a statement released today on The White House official website, Valerie Jarrett, senior staff to Obama said: "Earlier today, we screened BULLY at the White House. This film is a powerful call to action: We must do everything we can to work toward the day when no young person or family suffers the pain, agony, and loss caused by bulling in our schools and communities. In the last few years, President Obama and his Administration have taken significant steps towards this goal. We also hope that Congress will take action to ensure that all students are safe and healthy and can learn in environments free from discrimination, bullying, and harassment by passing the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) and the Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA). These pieces of legislation are critically important to addressing bullying in our schools and safeguarding our most vulnerable students."
Said TWC Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein, "The Obama administration sees a problem and acts swiftly. This is an incredible turn of events and shows that art can have a transcending effect. For all those families of the children who were lost, it's momentous to have the President and First Lady's support and gives them something to celebrate."
Today's screening of BULLY at The White House took place in the South Court Auditorium for an audience of 150 people including leaders of organizations such as: GLSEN, National Coalition for Learning Disabilities (NCLD), Facing History, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and Change.org. In attendance on behalf of the film were director Lee Hirsch and producer Cynthia Lowen as well as many of the families and children who shared their stories in the documentary including Kirk Smalley, David and Tina Long, Kelby and Bob Johnson, and Alex and Jackie Libby. Jarrett spoke to the crowd on behalf of the President following the screening.
ABOUT THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY
The Weinstein Company (TWC) is a multimedia production and distribution company launched in October 2005 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films in 1979. TWC also encompasses Dimension Films, the genre label founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein, which has released such popular franchises as SCREAM, SPY KIDS and SCARY MOVIE. Together TWC and Dimension Films have released a broad range of mainstream, genre and specialty films that have been commercial and critical successes. TWC releases took home eight 2012 Academy Awards®, the most wins in the studio's history. The tally included Best Picture for Michel Hazanavicius's THE ARTIST and Best Documentary Feature for TJ Martin and Dan Lindsay's UNDEFEATED. THE ARTIST brought TWC its second consecutive Best Picture statuette following the 2011 win for Tom Hooper's THE KING'S SPEECH.
Since 2005, TWC and Dimension Films have released such films as GRINDHOUSE; I'M NOT THERE; THE GREAT DEBATERS; VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA; THE READER; THE ROAD; HALLOWEEN; THE PAT TILLMAN STORY; PIRANHA 3D; INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS; A SINGLE MAN; BLUE VALENTINE; THE COMPANY MEN; MIRAL; SCRE4M; SUBMARINE; DIRTY GIRL; APOLLO 18; OUR IDIOT BROTHER; I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT; SARAH'S KEY; SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD IN 4D; and MY WEEK WITH MARILYN. Currently in release are THE ARTIST; THE IRON LADY; CORIOLANUS; W.E.; UNDEFEATED; and BULLY. Upcoming releases include THE INTOUCHABLES. Recently wrapped was SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, and currently in production is DJANGO UNCHAINED.
TWC is also active in television production, led by former Miramax Films President of Production and current President of Television Meryl Poster, with credits including the Emmy® nominated and Peabody Award winning reality series Project Runway, spin-off series Project Accessory and Project Runway All Stars, the VH1 reality series Mob Wives, and the critically acclaimed HBO comedy/crime series The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency which also received a Peabody Award. The company is currently in pre-production on the martial-arts epic Marco Polo for Starz as well as production on the second season of Mob Wives and the newest installment in the series' franchise Mob Wives Chicago. TWC additionally has 17 series in different stages of development, including The Nanny Diaries, being adapted for ABC by Amy Sherman Palladino (Gilmore Girls).
SOURCE The Weinstein Company