Parents are appalled at the new movie adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit because of a scene containing blackberries.
In the movie, Peter Rabbit, voiced by James Corden, attempts to enter Mr. McGregor’s garden with his friends. They proceed to pelt McGregor with blackberries, which he is severely allergic to.
With slingshots and more, Peter and his friends continue to shoot blackberries until one lands straight into McGregor’s mouth. The next scene shows him choking and gasping for air.
He’s seen struggling to reach for his epinephrine pen before finally able to inject himself with the medication and stop the attack.
Peter and his friends are seen celebrating victory soon after.
The movie plays it off as light humor and not much thought is put into it afterwards.
However, the reason why this scene in the movie is getting so much hate is because food allergies aren’t something to be taken lightly, much less joke about.
“I’ve never seen the movie or know how the allergy scene went down so I can’t say too much about it. But if Sony could of used something else, they should have,” said Delta student Zoraida Araujo. “Allergies aren’t a joke … they can be super dangerous. The movie might have tried making a joke about it, considering it’s fiction, but if parents are mad about it because it can give kids ideas, then it’s not the movie that’s the problem. Parents shouldn’t rely on movies or television to educate their kids on everything, it’s the parents’ job to teach them what’s right and wrong.”
It’s common for children to learn about the world from the things they experience and the movies and shows they;ve watched.
It’s also common for children to mimic what they see and think is cool or funny.
When they see the beloved main character of a children’s movie shooting blackberries into one who is severely allergic, what do you think will happen?
Of course, this isn’t saying all children are going to start thinking that it’s okay to joke about food allergies.
Delta student D.J. Lund has his own thoughts about how this scene went down.
“When it comes to war? Excellent, always exploit their weakness,” said Lund. “But if little Timmy pisses off some kid and they decide to cover him in something he’s allergic to, not so much. It is a children’s movie so [it’s] not really a good example.”
Parents think the movie is setting a bad example.
Calls for a boycott of the film started just 24 hours after the movie’s debut. At the same time, #boycottpeterrabbit was trending on Twitter.
In addition to parents being angry at Potter’s film, food advocacy groups are demanding Sony Pictures to apologize.
“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,” said Sony Pictures in a statement, according to Entertainment Weekly.
According to the Food Allergy Research and Education website, food allergies affect 15 million Americans and consuming even a small amount can lead to a dangerous reaction. This includes 1 in 13 children – roughly two in every classroom.