BREAKING NEWS : Police investigating woman's death at Lake James home after homicide ruling Full Story
SEVERE WX : Flash Flood Watch View Alerts

Allergy scene leads to 'Peter Rabbit' boycott

Some parents are saying they will boycott "Peter Rabbit" because of a scene showing a character with a food allergy being attacked with blackberries.

Posted: Feb 13, 2018 11:20 AM
Updated: Feb 13, 2018 11:20 AM

"Peter Rabbit" has found itself in the middle of a food allergy controversy that has prompted some parents to boycott the animated children's film and Sony Pictures to issue an apology.

The uproar began with a bundle of blackberries.

One scene shows the rabbit Peter and his forest friends attacking their archnemesis, Mr. McGregor, by throwing blackberries at him. Mr. McGregor is allergic to blackberries and starts choking, having to inject himself with an epinephrine injector.

The film, released Friday, was Sony Pictures' big-screen take on the classic characters and tales from British children's author Beatrix Potter. In the film, the blackberries were at the center of one of many attack plots the creatures carried out to win an ongoing feud with Mr. McGregor.

Now, due to that scene, parents of children with life-threatening allergies are condemning the movie and expressing their concerns on Twitter with the hashtag #boycottpeterrabbit.

"For them to mock something so serious is irresponsible and dangerous," said Dr. Purvi Parikh, an allergist and immunologist at NYU Langone Medical Center and an allergist with the nonprofit Allergy & Asthma Network.

Parikh added that there have been real-life cases in which school bullies have used food allergies to threaten and harm other children.

"This is very dangerous and anxiety-provoking, as deaths occur when food allergies are not taken seriously," she said.

Sony Pictures and the filmmakers of "Peter Rabbit" have released a statement in response.

"Food allergies are a serious issue. Our film should not have made light of Peter Rabbit's arch nemesis, 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 statement said.

The Kids With Food Allergies Foundation, a division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, was one of the first groups to raise concerns about "Peter Rabbit."

In a Facebook post on Friday, the foundation issued a "warning" to parents about the blackberries scene: "Parents should be aware of this before your children see the movie so you can talk with your child(ren) about it."

On Saturday, the kids' foundation and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America wrote a letter to the makers of the film, saying the scene suggests that food allergies are "made up for attention."

The letter went on to encourage Sony to examine its portrayal of bullying in films geared toward children and to refrain from mocking food allergies in the future.

"We would welcome the opportunity to educate your company and the cast of the movie about the realities of food allergy so that they and your viewing audience can better understand and recognize the gravity of the disease. We would like to work together to promote positive attitudes and safe environments for those with disabilities such as food allergies," the letter said.

Also on Saturday, the Australian-based allergy and anaphylaxis charity group Globalaai launched a Change.org petition demanding an apology from Sony Pictures for depicting "allergy bullying" in the Peter Rabbit movie.

All families should be aware of how serious and potentially life-threatening food allergies can be, Parikh said.

"Precautions should be taken around people who suffer from food allergies, as it can cost them their life," she said.

"Emergency medications such as epinephrine should always be carried, and currently, a mainstay of treatment is avoidance of the food," she said. "It is important we fight the stigma around food allergies and not alienate or endanger those who are at risk."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 752108

Reported Deaths: 13816
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1033831790
Lake558431013
Allen41736693
St. Joseph37007565
Hamilton36617417
Elkhart29425461
Tippecanoe22938228
Vanderburgh22565400
Porter19369327
Johnson18486389
Hendricks17696317
Clark13233195
Madison13176344
Vigo12631253
LaPorte12429221
Monroe12226176
Delaware10970198
Howard10349224
Kosciusko9643121
Hancock8578147
Bartholomew8174157
Warrick7864156
Floyd7815180
Grant7248179
Wayne7164201
Boone6979103
Morgan6768141
Dubois6224118
Marshall6214116
Cass6024110
Henry5903110
Dearborn589878
Noble581688
Jackson509476
Shelby502396
Lawrence4753122
Gibson445595
Clinton443555
Harrison441775
DeKalb440385
Montgomery439890
Whitley406744
Huntington403381
Steuben400859
Miami395769
Jasper389155
Knox377691
Putnam373461
Wabash362383
Ripley347370
Adams345555
Jefferson336186
White332753
Daviess3035100
Wells295481
Decatur289892
Greene286885
Fayette284864
Posey274335
LaGrange273272
Scott270356
Clay267148
Washington246336
Randolph245183
Jennings235349
Spencer234531
Starke228159
Fountain222048
Sullivan214843
Owen212358
Fulton204043
Jay201032
Carroll193820
Orange188255
Perry187237
Rush175926
Vermillion175344
Franklin170435
Tipton166646
Parke149616
Pike138334
Blackford136232
Pulaski120847
Newton114936
Brown104443
Benton102614
Crawford102516
Martin91815
Warren84115
Switzerland8158
Union72810
Ohio57911
Unassigned0424

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1109697

Reported Deaths: 20213
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1289521469
Cuyahoga1158802216
Hamilton814201251
Montgomery525861049
Summit484551006
Lucas43384824
Butler39098606
Stark33355930
Lorain25689506
Warren24612305
Mahoning22388602
Lake21219389
Clermont20138253
Delaware18892136
Licking16671225
Fairfield16589204
Trumbull16560483
Medina15618273
Greene15292248
Clark14244306
Wood13296200
Portage13254216
Allen11919239
Richland11611211
Miami10857225
Wayne9153225
Columbiana9039230
Muskingum8909135
Pickaway8664122
Tuscarawas8654251
Marion8649139
Erie8058165
Ashtabula7171179
Hancock6999133
Ross6948163
Geauga6850151
Scioto6540106
Belmont6159174
Union585049
Lawrence5741102
Jefferson5683159
Huron5554122
Sandusky5444126
Darke5420129
Seneca5350128
Washington5321109
Athens524460
Auglaize502487
Mercer487785
Shelby477095
Knox4573112
Madison444566
Ashland435997
Putnam4336104
Defiance432399
Fulton432274
Crawford4046110
Brown402761
Logan387678
Preble3859105
Clinton379266
Ottawa373581
Highland360266
Williams348578
Champaign344959
Guernsey325254
Jackson318454
Perry297350
Morrow291940
Fayette285750
Hardin275765
Henry273867
Holmes2703101
Coshocton269360
Van Wert247264
Adams243156
Pike242835
Gallia240850
Wyandot234756
Hocking220663
Carroll197548
Paulding176642
Meigs148540
Monroe136345
Noble136239
Harrison114138
Morgan110124
Vinton85717
Unassigned03
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
81° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 82°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
81° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 82°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
78° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 80°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
81° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 82°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
83° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 82°
Daily rounds of showers and thunderstorms will increase the flood threat across northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events