Parents boycott ‘Peter Rabbit’ over ‘allergy bullying’
Protective parents are angrily boycotting the new “Peter Rabbit” movie for encouraging what they say is “allergy bullying.”
Sony’s new live action film, based on the beloved Beatrix Potter tales, contains a scene in which a gang of bunnies attacks a farmer by throwing blackberries at him — knowing he’s allergic to them.
Farmer Tom McGregor swallows one of the berries, struggles to inject himself with an EpiPen, goes into anaphylactic shock and collapses.
This didn’t sit well with moms whose kids have allergies.
“As a mother of a toddler allergic to several foods, I am disgusted that Sony would make a joke out of flicking an allergen at a food allergic individual. Doing so is aggravated assault!” one mom tweeted, using the hashtag #boycottpeterrabbit.
“Please boycott the Peter Rabbit movie. As a mom of allergy kids, I find it really disturbing Sony thinks its OK to make a joke of deadly food allergies,” another parent wrote on Facebook.
The foundation Kids With Allergies issued a warning on Facebook Friday, asking parents to discuss the scene and “allergy bullying” with their children.
“KFA believes that food allergy ‘jokes’ are harmful to our community … Making light of this condition hurts our members and it encourages the public not to take the risk of allergic reactions seriously,” they wrote.
The group also posted an open letter to the creators of the kids’ flick, signed by Kenneth Mendez, president and CEO of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, asking them to re-examine their portrayal of food allergies and refrain from mocking them in the future.
Other organizations, including the Food Allergy Research & Education organization, also warned families about the allergy scene on Facebook.
“We want to make you aware that viewing this scene may be upsetting to some children,” they wrote.
An Australian charity for those with life-threatening allergies also called on the movie’s creators to issue an apology in a Change.org petition that got over 10,000 signatures.
On Sunday, Sony Pictures said in a statement the film “should not have made light” of a character with an allergy “even in a cartoonish, slapstick way.”
“We sincerely regret not being more aware and sensitive to this issue, and we truly apologize.”
Not all parents accepted the studio’s “sorry.”
“Besides being absolutely wrong to portray bullying and making it seem ‘funny’ — this is way more than that,” a Florida-based mom wrote on Facebook. “This is a child WATCHING, facing a self mortality scene in a children’s movie. Jerk move Sony.”
The movie opened Friday to mixed reviews.
With Post wires