Peter Rabbit movie filmmakers apologise for scene featuring allergy sufferer being bombarded with blackberries
People are boycotting the film starring James Corden for its portrayal of "food allergy bullying"
The new live-action adaptation of Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit has caused controversy due to a scene in which a gang of bunnies attack a man with blackberries, knowing he is allergic to them.
The sequence sees a group of rabbits led by Peter (voiced by James Corden) throwing the fruit at Domhnall Gleeson’s Thomas McGregor until one berry lands in his mouth. McGregor is then seen going into anaphylactic shock and reaching for his Epipen.
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“Anaphylaxis can and does kill,” Allergy UK CEO Carla Jones said in a statement. “To include a scene in a children’s film that includes a serious allergic reaction and not to do it responsibly is unacceptable, as is bullying. Mocking 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.”
Some Twitter users have also called a boycott on the film…
Others tried to downplay the scene, arguing it was no worse than other behaviour children see in cartoons.
After a petition called for Sony Pictures to apologise for the movie, the studio and filmmakers issued a statement (via The AP): “[We] sincerely regret not being more aware and sensitive to this issue, and we truly apologise.”
It added they “should not have made light” of a character being allergic to blackberries “even in a cartoonish” way.
Peter Rabbit will hit UK cinemas on 16th March 2018