Parents Boycott Peter Rabbit’ Film Over Allergy-Bullying Scene

February 12, 2018
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An apology has been issued by Sony Pictures Entertainment over a controversial scene in its new film “Peter Rabbit,” during which a character with an allergy to blackberries is attacked with the offending food stuff.

Food allergies are a serious issue,” wrote representatives for Sony Pictures Entertainment, reports The New York Times. “Our film should not have made light of Peter Rabbit’s archnemesis, Mr. McGregor, being allergic to blackberries, even in a cartoonish, slapstick way.”

“We sincerely regret not being more aware and sensitive to this issue, and we truly apologize,” the statement said.

The new movie “Peter Rabbit,” based on Beatrix Potter’s children’s book of the same name, was released on February 9, but soon received backlash on social media over its treatment of the allergy-afflicted character.

In the film, Mr. McGregor, Peter Rabbit’s enemy, dies and his nephew Tom comes to oversee the vegetable patch and exterminate the “vermin.”

It is Tom McGregor, the villain of the film, whom the audience — and Peter Rabbit — learns has an allergy to blackberries. In a scene, the rabbits throw blackberries at Tom, aiming for his mouth.

Tom then goes into anaphylactic shock and turns red before stabbing himself with an EpiPen.

A charity organization known as Allergy UK has since said the scene mocks allergy sufferers, and is an irresponsible move on the part of the filmmakers.

Carla Jones, the charity’s CEO, told the Telegraph: “Anaphylaxis can and does kill. To include a scene in a children’s film that includes a serious allergic reaction and not to do it responsibly is unacceptable, as is bullying.

Image credit: Reuters

“Mocking allergic disease shows a complete lack of understanding of the seriousness of food allergy and trivialises the challenges faced by those who live with this condition, particularly parents who live in fear of their child suffering a life threatening reaction.”

Jones also said they “will be communicating with the production company about the film’s withdrawal.”

Other viewers who feel the film is “grossly offensive” have taken to Twitter with the hashtag #boycottpeterrabbit.

“Please update your Peter Rabbit listing to warn parents of kids with food allergies about the violent food allergy bullying scene. Pure and unnecessary violence. #BoycottPeterRabbit,” one wrote on Twitter.

@CommonSense please update your Peter Rabbit listing to warn parents of kids with food allergies about the violent food allergy bullying scene. Pure and unnecessary violence. #BoycottPeterRabbit
— Karen Costa (@karenraycosta) February 10, 2018

“Food allergies are serious- we must educate children to be aware and respectful #FoodAllergies #Bullying,” another wrote.While many have come out in support of the boycott, there have been dissenters, however, who have called the concerned parents “snowflakes.”
“Peak snowflake,” one wrote about the controversy.
Peak snowflake. https://t.co/RZNdoBURAm
— Big Eater (@BigEater) February 11, 2018

“I think that being PC goes a little too far these days #PeterRabbit Peter Rabbit film criticised for depicting ‘allergy bullying,’” another wrote.
I think that being PC goes a little too far these days #PeterRabbit
Peter Rabbit film criticised for depicting ‘allergy bullying’ https://t.co/F9ig53S9LF
— Jenny Tenneson 🤔🇬🇧 (@jmtenneson) February 11, 2018

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