That’s not funny, says at least one children’s advocacy group and plenty of people on the internet about a scene in the kids movie, Peter Rabbit starring James Corden. The children’s film Peter Rabbit has stirred up controversy because of a scene where rabbits throw blackberries at Mr. McGregor (played by Domhnall Gleeson) because they are allergic to them. In the scene Mr. McGregor’s nephew Thomas is forced to use an EpiPen as a result of the blackberry attack.
The backlash began when children’s advocacy group Kids With Food Allergies posted a warning on social media. They wrote in the post, “Portraying anaphylaxis as a joke can cause some people to have a cavalier attitude about food allergies which can put kids with food allergies at risk. It is unnecessary for a film to show the characters intentionally attacking another with his food allergen to trigger anaphylaxis.” The post asked filmmakers to help raise awareness about the seriousness of food allergies and to help “promote positive attitudes and safe environments for kids with food allergies.”
The response has come along with a hashtag, of course, #boycottpeterrabbit and an outraged online community feels this isn’t funny- it just promotes bullying people with food allergies. Sony Pictures, and the filmmakers had to come out and apologize for their insensitivity.
The studio has apologized, saying they “sincerely regret not being more aware and sensitive to this issue, and we truly apologise”. They also acknowledged that food allergies are a serious issue and they should not have made light of a character being allergic to blackberries “even in a cartoonish, slapstick way.”
The scene, like much of the movie was taken from the classic beloved book that the movie is based on- Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter.
How can Sony Pictures release a film where food allergy bullying is acceptable? I guess the film industry won’t understand how wrong this is till they’re covered in hives and struggling to breathe. #boycottpeterrabbit
— Julia B (@PartyVIP101) February 11, 2018