Why is The Secret Life of Bees rated PG-13?
Official MPAA Rating: The Secret Life of Bees is rated PG-13 for or thematic material and some violence.
Serious themes of domestic violence, physical and emotional abuse (no sexual abuse is implied) as well as racial prejudice are explored. A character commits suicide by drowning after succumbing to overwhelming grief (the body is shown). A man and wife wrestle during a domestic dispute, which escalates when a gun is introduced. After the weapon is dropped during the ensuing struggle, it is picked up by a young child and accidentally fired. Although a death results, only a gunshot is heard. A father harshly punishes his daughter by pushing her around and forcing her to kneel for an extended time on a grit-covered floor causing her knees to bleed. Two black characters are harassed and beaten by whites. Both sustain injuries including bruises, bloody cuts and abrasions. An interracial romantic interest develops between teens (brief kisses are exchanged). Several passionate kisses are shown. A father questions his daughter’s sexual behavior, and an unwed pregnancy is mentioned. A character is shown drinking alcohol.The script includes some mild and moderate profanities, along with the use of terms of Christian Deity as expletives.