Even films with the best of intentions and most innocent of audiences can be released to a fever of criticism. It's not just films that are too racy, sexy, violent, or vulgar that catch the attention of organized groups and vocal associations. In this case, the film is Peter Rabbit and the group is Allergy UK. They say the film "mocks" allergy sufferers and trivializes a life-threatening condition.
The story of Peter Rabbit has been around for ages, and it has captured the imagination of generations of kids who love the bunny and his mischievous ways. That said, the new adaptation of the classic tale hasn't been warmly received. In fact, the creators of the film have publicly apologized for failing to be sensitive enough to the issues suffered by people with the Anaphylaxis condition, a condition that can and does kill.
Allergy UK believes that the scene where Peter Rabbit and his friends deliberately pelt an allergic man with blackberries goes too far. They stated that a children's film that ignores the effects of a serious allergic reaction is irresponsible and unacceptable. They are also claiming that they'll be pursuing a further course of action to have the film pulled from theaters. They are asking people to boycott the film to show Sony that this was a not just a mistake, but a costly one.
“I’m pretty sure Beatrix Potter will be turning in her grave about now” https://t.co/Wu3w8WDPzZ— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 12, 2018
Carla Jones, the charity's chief executive, said, "We will be communicating with the production company about the film's withdrawal."
Sony Pictures admitted it should "not have made light of Mr. McGregor being allergic to blackberries." The scene that shows rabbits firing berries into McGregor's mouth until he collapses to the ground, chokes, and turns red before stabbing himself in the leg with an EpiPen is causing the uproar.
The apology from Sony Pictures came after a petition garnered about 6,000 signatures from groups and parents of children suffering from severe allergies. The people let their voices be heard. Of course, this led to others speaking out that people are being far too sensitive to an animated film and an animated character. They suggested the scene was slapstick comedy that simply wasn't funny.
What do you think? Should the film have avoided this? Should they have apologized? Should the film be pulled from theaters?