Calls are being made for cinemagoers to boycott the new Peter Rabbit film, after a scene which groups are saying encourages ‘allergy bullying’. The scene in question involves Peter Rabbit and his animal friends attacking Tom McGregor (the nephew of Mr McGregor from the books and the central antagonist in the film) with blackberries, knowing that he is allergic. He eventually has to stab himself in the leg with an Epipen.
American group Kids with Food Allergies Foundation took to Facebook to warn parents. “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.”
Global Anaphylaxis Awareness and Inclusivity (Globalaai), a group based out of Australia, has started a petition calling for Sony Picture to apologise, claiming that the film “mocks the seriousness of allergic disease and is heartbreakingly disrespectful to the families of those that have lost loved ones to anaphylaxis … To spread a message that condones such victimising and dangerous behaviour amongst children is grossly offensive to worldwide viewers especially those who live with severe allergic disease.”
The groups also criticised an earlier scene, prior to the attack, when Peter mocks McGregor for having allergies.