Why Parents Are Boycotting ‘Peter Rabbit’

In Sony’s recent film Peter Rabbit, there is a scene with an insensitive depiction of anaphylactic shock. In the scene, blackberries are used as a weapon against Mr. McGregor, the movie’s antagonist. The blackberries are flung at Mr. McGregor because he is allergic to them.

Sony has since received backlash for this scene, as it makes light of an incredibly serious subject. Allergic reactions and anaphylactic shock cause children to live in fear and peril. Parents have especially expressed their disappointment and anger toward the film, as they have children with allergies of their own. Many parents who watched the movie with their kids have EpiPens in their homes. For them, the joke was especially inappropriate and insensitive.

Courtesy: Twitter

These parents have taken to social media to express their disagreement with the film’s poor judgment. One mother likened the scene to a felony of aggravated assault. She and many others have been using the hashtag #boycottpeterrabbit to emphasize their disapproval and disappointment.

The main point being made about the scene is that it was unnecessary and easily avoidable. There were dozens of other things that could’ve been done in that moment. There was no need for the rabbits to attempt to send Mr. McGregor into anaphylactic shock. The bottom line here is that Sony showed no sensitivity for its potential audience. At least 5.9 million children under the age of 18 suffer from a food allergy. Anaphylaxis is every allergy-prone child’s worst fear and it was used as a punchline in Peter Rabbit.

Courtesy: CNBC

It is for these reasons that Sony has released a public apology for displaying such poor judgment. The apology states, “…Our film should not have made light of Peter Rabbit’s archnemesis, Mr. McGregor, being allergic to blackberries, even in a cartoonish, slapstick way. We sincerely regret not being more aware and sensitive to this issue, and we truly apologize.”

The truth of the matter is that there is no appropriate way to make a joke about food allergies. Therefore, such jokes should never be made at all. Despite Sony’s intentions for the scene, it was just an inconsiderately depicted moment. As a result of the uproar being called out on social media, the film’s reputation has been ruined.

People are refusing to overlook the insensitivity embedded in our culture. They are refusing to complacently stand by as people poke fun at serious, and potentially deadly, situations. The silence has been broken by food allergies, and we are absolutely here for it!