Sony apologises over 'food bullying' scene in Peter Rabbit movie
Sony have been forced to apologise for a scene in their upcoming film Peter Rabbit which features the exploitation of a main character's allergy to blackberries.
In the scene, Peter Rabbit pelts Mr. McGregor with a number of vegetables and fruits, including a catapulted blackberry which lands in his mouth and triggers an allergic reaction.
Mr. McGregor attempts to recover himself using an EpiPen before collapsing and clutching his throat.
Parents of children who suffer from allergies formed an online petition demanding the company apologise for potentially putting their children in danger and making a mockery of the affliction.
Speaking to the New York Times via Facebook messenger, Sam Rose, a concerned parent, will not be taking her son to see the new film.
“I’m pretty sure Beatrix Potter will be turning in her grave about now..." she said.
"Allergies are often not taken seriously enough anyway. To have them trivialized on the big screen by such a popular character is immensely disappointing.”
The filmmakers and Sony issued a formal apology to the public: “Food allergies are a serious issue. Our film should not have made light of Peter Rabbit’s arch-nemesis, Mr. McGregor, being allergic to blackberries, even in a cartoonish, slapstick way.”
“We sincerely regret not being more aware and sensitive to this issue, and we truly apologize.”
Keneth Mendez, president of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America saw the film and said in an open letter to Sony: “Making light of this condition hurts our members because 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,”
Some younger children who suffer from anaphylaxis in real life have been affected by the scene.
“I was really afraid about the one part where they shot the blackberries,” said Brayden, 7 “I was upset because he had to use his EpiPen.”
Peter Rabbit opened on February 9 in the US and opens in the UK on March 16.Tags: