Sony Pictures released a statement [via the Associated Press], iterating that "food allergies are a serious issue" and that the film "should not have made light" of them "even in a cartoonish, slapstick way."
The scene that has caused such a backlash shows CGI rabbits flinging blackberries at the character of Mr. McGregor, who has an allergic reaction to the fruit and has to use an EpiPen.
A group by the name of Kids with Food Allergies initiated an online campaign against the film using the hashtag #boycottpeterrabbit. A heated debate has since ensued between concerned parents of kids with allergies and others who are urging people to "remember it's just a stupid film about talking rabbits."
See some of the fiery reactions from Twitter below.
Just read this drivel today, #boycottpeterrabbit people getting offended over kids films. I remember violent cartoons as a child and I don't recall brutally killing anyone growing up. Have some faith in your kids, breathe, and remember its just a stupid film about talking rabbits— Nick Fitzpatrick (@nicknogger) February 11, 2018
I think that Peter Rabbit's idea of force-feeding blackberries to an allergic individual is irresponsible and horrible. An anyphlactic reaction can be traumatizing to someone. #boycottpeterrabbit— Packy (@PackyGaming) February 11, 2018
Personally don't see the difference between killing someone with a knife or using an allergy to trigger anaphylactic shock.— Daniell McLowery (@uglyhotdog) February 11, 2018
No way they'd allow the knife in a childrens movie, why the allergy?#boycottpeterrabbit
Imagine being so certain you've enough work, money, food, clothing, shelter that you can waste emotional energy on #boycottpeterrabbit— Rachel (@racybearhold) February 12, 2018
Ppl who r #boycottpeterrabbit >>lighten up! WAY more pressing issues to get worked up about. If ur kids have food allergies then u guys deal w/it seriously....but surely u & ur kids know that rabbits don't ACTUALLY conspire 2throw berries at ppl in a battle... right?🤦🏼♀️— Jenny Chapman (@JennyChapmanKY) February 12, 2018
Have the #boycottpeterrabbit brigade ever read Peter Rabbit? It's Victorian and dark, the first book in the series tells us about dad who ended up in a pie.. we live in a very fragile #snowflake world were we only see the world from our own perspective.— PersonCentred1338 (@slider1338) February 12, 2018
If only the allergen-as-weapon motif was the only problem. Let's not lose sight of the fact that (on the strength of the trailer) the film is the worst kind of pointless update of a much-loved classic. AKA shite. #boycottpeterrabbit— Ruby L Sears (@RubyLSears) February 11, 2018