“Peter Rabbit” hasn’t exactly endeared itself to critics, with the newest take on Beatrix Potter’s beloved children’s book garnering mixed reviews. One other group that isn’t a fan of the film: food-allergy organizations, which are taking issue with its “allergy bullying.”
The scene in question reportedly involves Peter and his cohort attacking the villain, played by Domhnall Gleeson, with blackberries; they do so knowing that he’s allergic to berries, and he’s forced to inject his Epipen into his leg.
Global Anaphylaxis Awareness and Inclusivity (Globalaai), an Australian organization, has created a petition asking Sony Pictures to apologize. It claims that the film “mocks the seriousness of allergic disease and is heartbreakingly disrespectful to the families of those that have lost loved ones to anaphylaxis.” It currently has more than 6,000 signatures.
In a Facebook post, Kids with Food Allergies Foundation writes that it “believes that food allergy ‘jokes’ are harmful to our community” and that “making light of this condition hurts our members because it encourages the public not to take the risk of allergic reactions seriously, and this cavalier attitude may make them act in ways that could put an allergic person in danger.”
Sony has yet to respond.