Oh Peter Rabbit. What have you gotten yourself into this time?
According to a number of very pissed off parents, the new Peter Rabbit movie is not suitable for anyone, thanks to one scene where Peter Rabbit pegs a farmer with blackberries.
Angry parents of children with food intolerance are already boycotting the film overseas, claiming this type of behaviour on screen could promote food allergy bullying in real life. And now Australian parents of kids with allergies are jumping on the ban-the-bunny bandwagon.
What’s the problem, Peter Rabbit?
Peter Rabbit has always been considered a bit of a rogue. But a bully? Accordingly so. The cheeky rabbit has landed in hot water after hitting Mr McGregor with blackberries.
After all, it’s not very nice for a fictional talking rabbit that doesn’t wear pants to pelt someone in the first place. But this isn’t the issue.
No, the real problem lies in the fact that this fictional farmer has a fictional blackberry allergy. And throwing blackberries at someone with an allergy isn’t just mean, but also life threatening.
In the scene Mr. McGregor has to use an Epipen after Peter hits him with the fruit, which Peter most likely did in self defence because Mr. McGregor was attempting to kill Peter and put him in a pie. Which, let’s admit, is also not very nice.
Boycott the bunny
A number of different allergy aware groups have raised the issue, including Kids With Allergies and Food Allergy Advocate Group.
Food Allergy Group Australia (FAGA) is also furious at the flick because “it depicts that people who have allergies and anaphylaxis say this only for attention”.
“I will NOT be taking my child to see this, as he would most likely become distressed,” FAGA Founder Erika Baltes, a Queensland mum-of-six, wrote on Facebook..
“Food Allergy Bullying is deadly. More than one child has died at school recently from Deliberate Food Allergy Bullying and deliberate allergen exposure. Movies like this put ideas into children’s heads…. very disappointing.”
Countless other parents arealso turning to social media to share their outrage. There’s even a hashtag. #boycottpeterrabbit which is gaining crazy momentum on the Interwebs.
One mum wrote, “My 10yr old son really wanted to see Peter Rabbit, but no way I will take him. He has multiple food allergies, some that cause life-threatening reactions. I’ve watched him go into anaphylactic & be rushed to the ER. That was not funny.”
Of course, many parents are pointing out the fact that it is just a movie.
One person replied “Boycott if you choose, but you are talking about a movie that has a talking rabbit with a jacket and no pants.”
Sony apologies for blackberry incident
Kids with Allergies, a branch of The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, wrote to Sony Pictures, stating the film “makes light of the seriousness of food allergies and suggests that food allergies are ‘made up for attention'”.
Sony Pictures released a statement, apologising for the scene, claiming they “should not have made light” of a character being allergic to blackberries “even in a cartoonish” way.
The movie hit cinemas in America last week and brought in a massive $25 million on opening weekend. The film stars James Corden and Aussie favourites Margot Robbie and Rose Byrne. Check it out here, including a look at the the controversial berry throwing scene.
Peter Rabbit lands down under on 23 March 2018. And if your child does have a peanut allergy, here’s some news you might like to know.