February 18, 2019

Guardian: Peter Rabbit Film Criticised for Depicting 'Allergy Bullying'

12 February 2018, 05:48 | Regina Holmes

Peter Rabbit: Calls for Sony Pictures to apologise after food allergy 'bullying' scene in new movie

Peter Rabbit film accused of 'food bullying' as rabbits pelt allergic man with blackberries

Kids with Food Allergies, a division of The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, had previously posted a note of caution on their Facebook page to parents taking their children to see Peter Rabbit, saying the scene "may be disturbing to young viewers who have a food allergy".

"Portraying anaphylaxis as a joke can cause some people to have a cavalier attitude about food allergies which can put kids with food allergies at risk".

Allergy UK called for the film to be withdrawn, citing the depiction of bullying that had "deeply concerned and upset" the allergic community.

Sony Pictures says Sunday in a joint statement with the filmmakers that "food allergies and are a serious issue" and the film "should not have made light" of a character being allergic to blackberries "even in a cartoonish, slapstick way".

The overwhelming response prompted health executives to publicly slam the production company of the film, which stars James Corden, Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie, Rose Byrne and Elizabeth Debicki.

The "allergy bullying" controversy follows the film's USA release last weekend.

He has now also angered food safety campaigners after a scene in a new film about him shows a character being pelted with blackberries to trigger an allergic reaction.

"This mocks the seriousness of allergic disease and is heartbreakingly disrespectful to the families of those that have lost loved ones to anaphylaxis", the petition, which has received more than 3000 signatures in three hours, reads.

"To spread a message that condones such victimising and risky behaviour amongst children is grossly offensive to worldwide viewers, especially those who live with severe allergic disease".

"During a reaction, patients require the life-saving drug epinephrine and must go to the nearest hospital for follow-up treatment", it said.

THE creators of a newly released Hollywood film featuring one of the Lake District's most famous characters have apologised for insensitively depicting a character's allergy after an online backlash.

KFA said the fear and anxiety experienced during an allergic reaction is very serious.

Sony Pictures have not responded to the petition.

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