Parents Are Calling for a Boycott of ‘Peter Rabbit’ Over How the Film Depicts Food Allergies

By  | 

The new Peter Rabbit movie is getting some rave reviews. But one group of parents is calling for a boycott, over the film’s portrayal of food allergies. In one scene in particular, the animals use food allergies to bully another character, resulting in the character going into anaphylactic shock. The Kids with Food Allergies Foundation even issued a warning on its Facebook page, so parents (especially those with kids with food allergies) can be prepared going into the movie. Some parents started a hashtag, #boycottpeterrabbit, and created a petition on, prompting Sony Pictures to publicly address the disturbing scene and issue an apology.

The scene in Peter Rabbit that is causing the controversy has a fight between the animals and farmer Tom McGregor.

In the movie, Tom is allergic to blackberries. The animals throw the berries at him, and one ends up in his mouth. Tom falls to the ground, turns red, and begins to choke. He then finds his EpiPen and uses it on himself. The scene is meant to be humorous, but some parents are saying that it amounts to food allergy bullying

Parents of kids with food allergies routinely face difficulties when it comes to getting people to take allergies seriously. The fact is, there are children with allergies so severe, even the slightest exposure can kill them.

Imagine walking to a movie with your food allergic child, and seeing that scene, with no warning whatsoever? I can certainly see how that could be upsetting. And the idea that an allergy can be used against someone to cause harm is traumatizing for food allergy kids

The Kids with Food Allergies Foundation posted a warning on their Facebook page, giving parents a heads up of what to expect during the movie.

The new movie, Peter Rabbit, has a scene that may be disturbing to young viewers who have a food allergy. A character is…

Posted by Kids With Food Allergies Foundation on Friday, February 9, 2018

And the hashtag has gained momentum, with people reacting to the scene and the backlash. There are parents sharing their reaction to the scene, and of course, the requisite trolls.

The outrage has prompted Sony Pictures to issue an apology about the movie and the use of food allergy bullying. In an emailed statement to the New York Times, the studio said, “Food allergies are a serious issue. Our film should not have made light of Peter Rabbit’s archnemesis, Mr. McGregor, being allergic to blackberries, even in a cartoonish, slapstick way.” They expressed regret for not being more sensitive and aware of the situation, and apologized for the scene.

If you’re a parent of a food allergy kid and were planning on seeing Peter Rabbit, just a heads up: you may find that scene to be disturbing.

(Image: Facebook/Peter Rabbit Movie)