Producers of the new animated film Peter Rabbit have apologised after some viewers were unhappy and shocked by a scene in which a character is showered with berries by Peter and his friends, who know he is allergic to the fruit. Sony Pictures released a joint statement with the filmmakers to apologise for the hurt caused. It read: "We sincerely regret not being more aware and sensitive to this issue, and we truly apologise," adding that "food allergies are a serious issue" and that they shouldn't have included the scene "even in a cartoonish, slapstick way".
Some people have called to boycott Peter Rabbit
Some viewers were quick to condemn the scene, with one person writing: "I'm enraged. I thought the new peter rabbit movie looked stupid from the previews. Had no idea they were going to mock #foodallergies. We have to move, folks. We have to make our voices heard on this," while another added: "For those who have children that live with food allergies (like mine), do NOT go see the new Peter Rabbit movie. Finding 'humour' in bullying by Peter & friends to an allergy friend (who then needs an Epi) is sickening. Shame on @SonyPictures #BoycottPeterRabbit."
However, others didn't see the problem, with one person tweeting: "Oh good grief. It's a movie. About imaginary talking rabbits. Really?", while another added: "I almost died from food allergy induced anaphylactic shock and I think the people freaking out about this are out of their minds. I'd honestly rather die of anaphylaxis than live in the hypersensitive, watered down feelings-before-fact world they want to create." Embarrassing Bodies Doctor Christian Jessen also spoke about the controversy, tweeting: "On Peter Rabbit gate: anaphylaxis kills. Kids copy what they see. Foods people are most often allergic to are easily available (and easily thrown)! I don’t think this is just a massive sense of humour failure but not was there any malintent on the part of the film makers."