Parents Boycott ‘Peter Rabbit’ Due to Allergy Bullying

Parents Boycott ‘Peter Rabbit’ Due to Allergy Bullying

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Did the movie go too far?

Peter Rabbit,” the new live-action film based on the books of Beatrix Potter, has recently come under attack. Many parents are furious over a scene which they feel depicts “allergy bullying.”

The scene in question shows Peter and his friends attacking the film’s villain, Mr. McGregor, by throwing blackberries at him, which they know he is allergic to. Mr. McGregor starts choking; after one lands in his mouth, and has inject himself with epinephrine.

Parents have taken to Twitter to express their concerns using the hashtag #boycottpeterrabbit. They have also launched a Change.org campaign demanding an apology to Sony Pictures, who released the film. As of today the petition has received close to 13,000 signatures.

"For them to mock something so serious is irresponsible and dangerous," said Dr. Purvi Parikh, an allergist and immunologist at NYU Langone Medical Center and an allergist with the nonprofit Allergy & Asthma Network, to CNN. "This is very dangerous and anxiety-provoking, as deaths occur when food allergies are not taken seriously," she said.

Sony Pictures responded in a statement saying, "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 statement said. 

With so many children suffering from food allergies, it’s easy to see how parents may have found that scene disturbing.

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