Parents are trying to conjure up support to boycott the new children’s film Peter Rabbit.
The scene that parents are upset about is where Peter and his friends hurl blackberries at a human character knowing he was allergic to them.
In the controversial scene, Mr. McGregor’s nephew Thomas is forced to use an EpiPen as a result of the blackberry attack. Thomas has difficulty with the injection and has anaphylaxis and collapses.
Kenneth Mendez, the president and chief executive of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, sent an open letter to the movie makers that they should not mock the seriousness of food allergies.
“Making light of this condition hurts our members because it encourages the public not to take the risk of allergic reactions seriously, and this cavalier attitude may make them act in ways that could put an allergic person in danger,” it said.
The reactions on social media to the allergy scene in Peter Rabbit were mixed.
“This is pretty awful. And I don’t have allergies or kids. None needed to see the insensitivity.”- @PaMaureen
@SonyPictures you are deplorable #boycottpeterrabbit My 2 kids have horrible allergies & u make a joke of it. Not seeing this or any of your movies ever. Honestly not even sure what u were thinking making this scene.” – @Lgl1853
“On Peter Rabbit gate: anaphylaxis kills. Kids copy what they see. Foods people are most often allergic to are easily available.l (and easily thrown!) I don’t think this is just a massive sense of humour failure but not was there any malintent on the part of the filmmakers.” – @DoctorChristian
#boycottpeterrabbit is the most ridiculous thing I’ve seen today and it’s 07:17am. I understand where they’re coming from but 1) it’s a film 2) the entire film is literally a man setting up inhumane traps to harm rabbits forcing them out of home 3) cartoons have done far worse” – @TechieDolan
“Oh good grief. It’s a movie. About imaginary talking rabbits. Really?” –
Sony Pictures has issued an apology. In a joint statement with the filmmakers it said that “food allergies and are a serious issue” and the film “should not have made light” of a character being allergic to blackberries “even in a cartoonish, slapstick way.”