The Bully documentary has a top Republican supporter with Mike Huckabee using his television show and an op-ed to call on everyone to see it regardless of their political party.
"I hope that there will be lines around the block and down the street," he wrote in The Daily Beast.
Huckabee called the movie "life-changing" on his Fox News television show during an interview with director Lee Hirsch, and he promised to do everything he can to get people to theaters after seeing the stories of the bullying victims and being "profoundly moved by their plight." Although Huckabee didn't call out attacks based on perceived or actual sexual orientation, that does figure prominently in the movie, as students are called antigay slurs and one of the storylines focuses on a lesbian student faced with the prospect of dropping out of high school.
"Regardless of the motivation — race, religion, physical aptitudes, or some otherwise — no child in America should be subjected to harassment, humiliation, or violence while in the care of a public, or for that matter, any school," wrote Huckabee, a 2008 candidate for president who was propelled to wins in Iowa and elsewhere in large part by his appeal to evangelical voters.
Even with the former Arkansas governor's own conservative views, he doesn't see any reason for the R rating that that the Motion Picture Association gave Bully.
"When I viewed Bully, my first reaction was to think that every parent and grandparent in the country needs to see it, along with every child in elementary school or above," he wrote.
"Yes, there are moments, albeit limited, in which profanity is used, and it’s language that I would not personally use nor condone," he wrote. "However, the language is not gratuitous nor without redeeming value, in that it provides the shock effect to drive home the point that this is a serious issue. This is not 'kids being kids.'"
And Huckabee seemed to imply he'd like to see others from his party encouraging people to see Bully when it's released in limited theaters this weekend and then goes in wider release later.
"Surely this nation, so divided by almost everything, could unite behind the notion that the youngest among us should be treated with dignity and respect," he wrote.