#BoycottPeterRabbit is real, guys.
Some parents and allergy/asthma groups are upset with the new movie "Peter Rabbit" for a scene where a character's serious food allergy is mocked. In the movie, Mr. McGregor is allergic to blackberries. Peter and his friends throw berries at him, and when he starts to choke, he's forced to use his EpiPen.
The group Kids with Food Allergies posted a warning about the scene on its Facebook page:
"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. 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."
According to the Associated Press, Asthma and Allergy Foundation president and CEO Kenneth Mendez wrote an open letter to Sony Pictures asking for the opportunity to educate the company and movie's cast, urging the studio to "examine your portrayal of bullying in your films geared toward a young audience." A change.org petition was launched demanding an "Apology from Sony Pictures for irresponsible allergy bullying in Peter Rabbit Movie."
Sony and the filmmakers responded Sunday with a joint statement, via the AP, saying:
"Food allergies are a serious issue. Our film should not have made light of Peter Rabbit's archnemesis, 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."
This may sound like crazy snowflake nonsense to you, or you may completely understand why it's a big deal.
Here are people on both sides:
On Peter Rabbit gate: anaphylaxis kills. Kids copy what they see. Foods people are most often allergic to are easily available.l (and easily thrown!) I don't think this is just a massive sense of humour failure but not was there any malintent on the part of the film makers.— Dr Christian Jessen (@DoctorChristian) February 12, 2018
@SonyPictures What a disgrace - teaching children it's okay to bully and harass others with food allergies. You obviously have no staff with children who could DIE from food allergies. #attemptedmurder#foodallergies#boycottpeterrabbit— Allison Wells (@OrangeAlli) February 10, 2018
**Warning** For those who have children that live with food allergies (like mine), do NOT go see the new Peter Rabbit movie. Finding "humor" in bullying by Peter & friends to an allergy friend (who then needs an Epi) is sickening. Shame on @SonyPictures#BoycottPeterRabbit— Tom Murray (@thomascmurray) February 10, 2018
Oh good grief. Its a movie. About imaginary talking rabbits. Really?— Kate Campbell (@elektra6618) February 12, 2018
Just read this drivel today, #boycottpeterrabbit people getting offended over kids films. I remember violent cartoons as a child and I don't recall brutally killing anyone growing up. Have some faith in your kids, breathe, and remember its just a stupid film about talking rabbits— Nick Fitzpatrick (@nicknogger) February 11, 2018
I thought this was a story from the @TheOnion— Craig Lunsford (@TCraigL) February 12, 2018
I almost died from food allergy induced anaphylactic shock and I think the people freaking out about this are out of their minds. I'd honestly rather die of anaphylaxis than live in the hypersensitive, watered down feelings-before-fact world they want to create.— Albert (@spaycemunkey) February 12, 2018
"Peter Rabbit" -- featuring the voices of James Corden, Fayssal Bazzi, Domhnall Gleeson, Sia, Sam Neill, Margot Robbie, and Elizabeth Debicki -- is now in theaters.
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