Parents of kids with food allergies are upset about the new Peter Rabbit movie

They claim that one scene in the movie makes light of the real-life fears and anxieties people with allergies have during an allergic reaction.

Parents of kids with food allergies are upset about the new Peter Rabbit movie

Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures

The new Peter Rabbit movie starring James Corden came out in theatres last weekend, and it wasn't long before parents of kids with food allergies began calling out Sony Pictures for its careless portrayal of a severe allergic reaction.

The beloved character from Beatrix Potter's classic stories is known for causing mischief. However, when Peter and his animal friends find out that their enemy Mr. McGregor (played by Domnhall Gleeson) is severely allergic to blackberries, they decide it's a good idea to pelt him with them.

As they barrage him with the berries, one lands in his mouth, and he begins to react severely, so he injects himself with an EpiPen. This series of events, parents are saying, crosses the line between mischief and violence.

Now, these kinds of pranky antics to get rid of the "villain" character are common among kids' movies, but parents are saying the specific targeting of the character's allergy trivializes the real fear and anxiety that people with allergies experience when having a reaction. Since the film's release, the hashtag #boycottpeterrabbit has started to trend on Twitter, with more parents complaining about the negligent plot point.


The Kids with Food Allergies Foundation also posted on its Facebook page warning parents about the scene, so they can be prepared to have a discussion with their kids before seeing the movie."Making light of this condition hurts our members because it encourages the public not to take the risk of allergic reactions seriously," the post reads. "This cavalier attitude may make [people] act in ways that could put an allergic person in danger."

Sony has since released an apology to the AP. It says: "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."

The scene isn't being removed from the movie, but it's nice to see the company taking responsibility, and parents of food-allergic kids can talk to their children about the apology if they choose to see the film. That said, it'd be nice if Sony could do a bit more than just say sorry to help spread awareness and education about deadly food allergies.


Does your kid have a severe food allergy or dietary restriction? What do you think? Will you be taking your kids to see Peter Rabbit?

Read more: This product could be a life saver for kids with a peanut allergy 5 biggest school snack questions answered

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Kevin is an associate editor for Canadian Business in Toronto, Ontario. More of their work can be found in MSN Canada, Chatelaine and This Magazine