Peter Rabbit is 'food bully' for throwing blackberries

Peter Rabbit is 'food bully' for throwing blackberries

Makers accused of insensitively depicting a character's allergy.

The new Peter Rabbit film is facing a boycott over a scene in which he and his friends hurl blackberries at a character - knowing he is allergic to them.

In Peter Rabbit - a modern-day interpretation of the famous Beatrix Potter story - the character of Mr McGregor is allergic to blackberries.

The controversial scene is in a film adaptation of Peter Rabbit, the much-loved Beatrix Potter character, which was released in USA cinemas at the weekend.

"Parents should be aware of this before your children see the movie so you can talk with your child (ren) about it".

Groups from around the world condemned it for "making light" of food allergies. "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". The film arrives in United Kingdom cinemas on 16 March.


Supporters argue the scene is "heartbreakingly disrespectful" to families who have lost loved ones to anaphylaxis, a serious allergic reaction causing death.

"Mocking an allergic disease shows a complete lack of understanding of the seriousness of food allergy and trivialises the challenges faced by those who live with this condition, particularly parents who live in fear of their child suffering a life threatening reaction".

The "allergy bullying" controversy follows the film's USA release last weekend.

A petition has also been launched by Global Anaphylaxis Awareness and Inclusivity - attracting nearly 10,000 signatures.

The charity group Kids with Food Allergies on its Facebook page Friday, prompting some on Twitter to start using the hashtag #boycottpeterrabbit.

According to Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America president, Kenneth Mendez, this isn't the first time Sony Pictures Animation has used food allergies as a "punchline in the plot of a kids' movie" with The Smurfs and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs including similar scenes.

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