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Allergies

‘Peter Rabbit’ Filmmakers Apologise for Showing Character with Blackberry Allergy Being Pelted by Blackberries

Sony released a statement admitting that it “should not have made light" of those who suffer from food allergies.

by Ruby Lott-Lavigna
12 February 2018, 6:00pm

Photo via Sony Pictures.

When there’s nothing to get mad at in the world, it’s easy to find yourself at a loss. Some would say that this is the ideal time to work on your relationships, buy some house plants, or finally write that email reply to your aunt who just wants to know how your new job is going. Others would encourage displacing your desire to rage at anything into a healthy hobby like making kombucha or playing extreme frisbee. Or, alternately, you could just scour pop culture for something to get mad at, like a fictional rabbit pelting someone with fruit.

This was the case for viewers who became enraged at a scene in the new film Peter Rabbit, in which animated bunnies attack a character with blackberries. The film, which is based on the Beatrix Potter books and was released in the US this weekend, sees Cottontail, Flopsy, Mopsy, and Peter Rabbit use catapults to throw the fruit at the human character Tom McGregor. McGregor, played by Domhnall Gleeson, has a deadly berry allergy and is forced to use an Epipen.

According to the BBC, campaigners are calling for viewers to avoid the film, using the hashtag #BoycottPeterRabbit. A petition against the film has garnered over 10,000 signatures, and states that the “major motion picture Peter Rabbit Movie depicts blatant food allergy bullying putting an innocent allergic individual at risk [sic].” Further to this, children’s charity Kids With Food Allergies Foundation condemned the film in a Facebook post, writing, “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.”

In response to the blackberry backlash, Sony Pictures and the filmmakers behind Peter Rabbit have released a statement apologising for making light of berry allergies. They said that the depiction of the allergy was wrong, “even in a cartoonish, slapstick way” and added, “we sincerely regret not being more aware and sensitive to this issue, and we truly apologise."