Peter Rabbit movie makers apologise to allergy sufferers

12 February, 2018, 17:03 | Author: Cecil Buchanan
  • Peter Rabbit cartoon with the words

The charity Kids with Food Allergies Foundation said in a Facebook post "food allergy "jokes" are harmful to our community".

Peter Rabbit was released this past weekend in the U.S., taking just $25m (£18m) on its opening weekend, losing out to Universal's Fifty Shades Freed.

In a scene from the film, Tom McGregor - played by Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson - has blueberries pelted at him by a gang of bunnies - including Peter Rabbit - despite suffering a blueberry allergy.

Sony Pictures says Sunday in a joint statement with the filmmakers that "food allergies and are a serious issue" and the film "should not have made light" of a character being allergic to blackberries "even in a cartoonish, slapstick way". During a reaction, patients require the life-saving drug epinephrine and must go to the nearest hospital for follow-up treatment.

"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".

"Given that this movie is aimed at children, to see a character being intentionally attacked with the allergen that they're allergic to has been really disturbing worldwide, not only for the allergy community but also for parents", Globalaai founder Dr Pooja Newman said.

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"We sincerely regret not being more aware and sensitive to this issue, and we truly apologise".

Australian group Global Anaphylaxis Awareness and Inclusivity has started a petition pushing for an apology from Sony saying the scene is detrimental to society's views on food allergies.

Following this, some Twitter users adopted the hashtag #boycottpeterrabbit.

Some shared stories on social media about people who had to go through severe anxiety or even post-traumatic stress disorder following their experiences with anaphylaxis. "It encourages the public not to take the risk of allergic reactions seriously, and this cavalier attitude may make them act in ways that could put an allergic person in danger".

Reviews across the Atlantic have been mixed thus far, though UK-based critics questioned the film's faithfulness to the source after the promotional trailer depicted Peter Rabbit "twerking".

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