Peter Rabbit film team apologise for making light of allergies after backlash


"This isn't the first time that Sony Pictures Animation has used food allergies as a punchline in the plot of a kids' movie".

On Sunday, Sony Pictures and filmmakers have since said that they "should not have made light" of a character being allergic to blackberries "even in a cartoonish" way.

The Kids With Food Allergies Foundation (KFA) said in a statement: "The new movie, Peter Rabbit, has a scene that may be disturbing to young viewers who have a food allergy".

Several advocacy groups have criticised the new film based on one of Beatrix Potter's classic tales after the scene in question was said to promote a "cavalier attitude about food allergies". The attack forces McGregor, who has a berry allergy, to use an EpiPen to treat a severe allergic reaction.

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Filming took place in Ambleside and Windermere in April a year ago, with Domhnall Gleeson, Rose Byrne and Sam Neill appearing alongside the voice talents of Daisy Ridley and Margot Robbie.

And because it's a kid's movie, many parents are upset at Peter Rabbit for joking about a medical condition that, according to Kids With Food Allergies, affects one in 13 children.

An online petition, which has gathered over 6,000 signatures, called for Sony to apologize for its "irresponsible allergy bullying". During a reaction, patients require the life-saving drug epinephrine and must go to the nearest hospital for follow-up treatment.

The charity's post read: "The very real fear and anxiety that people experience during an allergic reaction (often referred to as an impending sense of doom) is a serious matter". People also expressed their views of the scene on Twitter, using the hashtag #BoycottPeterRabbit.

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"The segment featured the intentional attack of the McGregor [Gleeson] character with the food he is allergic to - the implication being that the rabbits wanted to kill or harm McGregor with this method".

In June 2017, a 13-year-old boy, who was allergic to dairy products, died after bullies flicked cheese in his mouth in London.

That's apparently what the Peter Rabbit movie is getting - both derision from critics and the anger of advocates for allergy awareness.

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