New ‘Peter Rabbit’ called out for food bullying, making light of Epipen


Peter Rabbit filmmakers and the studio behind it are apologizing for insensitively depicting a character’s allergy in the film that has prompted backlash online.

On Sunday, Sony Pictures said in a statement that the film “should not have made light” of a character being allergic to blackberries “even in a cartoonish” way.

In Peter Rabbit, which earned $25 million and finished second at the box office this weekend, the character of Mr. McGregor (played by Domhnall Gleeson) is allergic to blackberries. The rabbits fling the fruit at him and he is forced to use an EpiPen.

The charity group Kids with Food Allergies posted a warning about the scene on its Facebook page Friday, prompting some on Twitter to start using the hashtag #boycottpeterrabbit.

“The very real fear and anxiety that people experience during an allergic reaction (often referred to as an impending sense of doom) is a serious matter,” the group wrote. “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.”

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