Sony pictures, the distributor of the new film Peter Rabbit, has apologized after being condemned for a scene depicting “food allergy bullying”.
The scene sees Peter and his bunny friends pelted a character with blackberries in the knowledge of his allergy to the fruit, until the character is forced to stab himself in the leg with an Epipen- a special injection that helps people with allergies get through a bad reaction.
A backlash from allergy advocacy groups has ensued, prompting a hashtag #boycottpeterrabbit on social media. Sony Pictures on Sunday night made an apology in a joint statement with filmmakers, saying that it “should not have made light” of a character being allergic to blackberries “even in a cartoonish, slapstick way”, but be more aware and sensitive of this serious issue, according to The Telegraph.
Global Anaphylaxis Awareness and Inclusivity (Globalaai), an Australian not for profit charity, started a petition calling on Sony pictures to apologize, which already has over 10,000 supporters. It says: “To spread a message that condones such victimising and dangerous behaviour amongst children is grossly offensive to worldwide viewers especially those who live with severe allergic disease.”
In a post shared on Facebook, the Kids With Food Allergies Foundation described the scene as “disturbing” and “harmful to our community”, and advised parents to talk with their children before they see the movie.
Some people on Twitter said this sets a bad example of bullying and makes a joke out of food allergies, others took it less seriously.
The trailer was such crap that I knew we wouldn’t be seeing the movie anyway. The food allergy treatment is icing on the cake, so to speak. What a sad travesty to ruin a classic.
— Sblendita (@Sblendita) February 12, 2018
You could always just choose not to take your daughter to see the movie and let the rest of us make our own minds up
— David Mole (@daveuk85) February 12, 2018
You say it promotes bullying, you are therefore suggesting that it glorifies and encourages bullying? As far as I can tell it simply depicts bullying as many other forms of media have done before it, please explain how it promotes bullying and thereby encouraging others to bully?
— MikeEFC (@Miguel9t5) February 12, 2018
Peter Rabbit – based on the beloved Beatrix Potter character – is out in the US now and will be released in cinemas across the UK from March 16.
Featured image courtesy of Beatrix Potter
Subbed by Nikki Onafuye