Parents Boycott New 'Peter Rabbit' Movie Over Food Allergy Scene
“Peter Rabbit” was released in the U.S. last week, and while a film about a feud between a human and a talking rabbit over a garden seems like a feel-good family movie, some moviegoers are upset about a scene involving a food allergy.
Tom McGregor, the human played by Domhnall Gleeson, is pelted with blackberries by Peter Rabbit, voiced by James Corden, and the other rabbits. It sounds harmless at first, but the bunnies are aware that McGregor is allergic to blackberries. When a berry ends up in McGregor’s mouth, he goes into anaphylaxis and has to use an Epipen. McGregor then collapses to the ground.
Some watchers, many parents of children with food allergies, were upset by the scene. The uproar was loud enough that Sony Pictures and the filmmakers issued an apology on Sunday.
“Food allergies are a serious issue,” a statement emailed to The New York Times read. “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 debate about the movie’s scene was largely over social media. On Twitter, people said the scene made light of food allergies. About one-third of children with food allergies are bullied for their allergy, according to Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE). It’s such a common problem that FARE has created a “It’s Not a Joke” campaign to address food allergy bullying.
Bullying of children with food allergy is not funny and could be lethal!! I hope you will remove the scene from the movie @SonyPictures
Peter Rabbit film producers apologise over allergy scene – https://t.co/OB8txfVlbV
— Tushar Banerjee (@bnrjt07) February 12, 2018
This Peter Rabbit story isn't about 'generation snowflake', whatever the fuck that is, it's parents who are upset that the life-threatening health complaint suffered by their children is being used as the subject of comedy.
— Rick (@rickburin) February 12, 2018
@SonyPictures I don’t know what you were thinking when making Peter Rabbit. We will be boycotting it along with millions of food allergy families. A schoolboy recently died because of FA bullying. This makes me just sick that you find this entertaining. Do better!
— Jules (@willtwt4politcs) February 10, 2018
**Warning** For those who have children that live with food allergies (like mine), do NOT go see the new Peter Rabbit movie. Finding “humor” in bullying by Peter & friends to an allergy friend (who then needs an Epi) is sickening. Shame on @SonyPictures #BoycottPeterRabbit
— Tom Murray (@thomascmurray) February 10, 2018
Say it ain't so @JKCorden . Your new "Peter Rabbit" movie thinks it's ok to make fun of kids with food allergies? Not cool. 5.9 M kids have food allergies. I bet you know one. #PeterRabbit @kfatweets @FoodAllergy
— Peter (@OneDadTwoBoys) February 10, 2018
I did not imagine I’d spend a large portion of today arguing with strangers about Peter Rabbit and whether every child has the right to *not die at school*, but here we are
— February Name (@nimbus_nought) February 12, 2018
Others thought the uproar was unwarranted, citing the scene as an opportunity to educate children.
My child has awful food allergies and we will still be watching the movie – if nothing else it’s raised awareness of what’s not acceptable and got people talking about food allergies and that’s a good thing. Xx
— Andrea Greenwood ???? (@AndreaG0710) February 12, 2018
All the outrage about Peter Rabbit/food allergies is making me want to buy a ticket to see it. God forbid people use anything as a teachable, parenting moment. No just boycott it. Teach them they can create a world that only says what they want it to, if they scream loud enough.
— Brian McPherson (@ThatBrianFella) February 12, 2018
As someone with an anaphylaxis allergy I will still happily be going to see Peter Rabbit. Stop expecting Hollywood to raise your kids! #PeterRabbit
— Fiona Black (@Princess__Fiona) February 12, 2018
So Peter Rabbit tries to kill the farmer with his blackberry allergy and parents want the movie banned. The roadrunner pushed the coyote off a lot of cliffs and I knew not to do that. I have a food allergy – not offended. #PeterRabbitMovie
— Michele G (@MicheleinNZ) February 12, 2018
What’s your take? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo via Twitter