Sony apologizes to parents for ‘Peter Rabbit’ food allergy scene

Sony Pictures is under fire for a scene from its new movie “Peter Rabbit”, which critics say trivializes food allergies when a herd of rambunctious rabbits arms blackberries to gang up on their human enemy.

The controversial footage shows rabbits attacking the film’s villain, human character Tom McGregor, with the fruits, to which he is allergic.

After a berry flies into his mouth, the character attempts to inject himself with an EpiPen – but has anaphylaxis and collapses to the ground.

In an open letter to Sony, the Kids with Food Allergies charity chastised the film’s “cavalier attitude” towards allergic reactions, saying that “shedding light on this condition hurts our members because it encourages audiences not to not take the risk of allergic reactions seriously “.

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Change.org petition accusing “Peter Rabbit” – who took second place and grossed $ 25 million at the North American box office last weekend – of “irresponsible allergic harassment” has attracted more than 10,000 signatures .

“Spreading a message that condones such victimizing and dangerous behavior in children is extremely offensive to viewers around the world, especially those living with severe allergic disease,” the petition asking for an apology reads.

Sony Pictures and the filmmakers apologized on Sunday, saying “Food allergies are a serious problem. Our film shouldn’t have shed light on Peter Rabbit’s nemesis Mr. McGregor being allergic to blackberries. even in a cartoonish and burlesque way. “

“We sincerely regret not being more aware and sensitive to this issue, and we sincerely apologize,” read the statement which circulated widely in the US media.

Twitter users flocked to the social media platform to express their contempt under the hashtag #BoycottPeterRabbit.

“How would you laugh at a sugar-gorged diabetic? No. But that’s exactly what you are doing in your movie: continuing to marginalize people with food allergies,” wrote a user with the handle @jamiefid.

But for some, the fierce backlash elicited stares: “I can’t believe adults cry about this! Get a life, it’s a movie !!” wrote user @ knute5910.

The film, which mixes live actors with computer-generated animation, is loosely based on a Beatrix Potter children’s book and rated PG for its crass humor and action.


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Raymond I. Langston

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