Peter Rabbit film team apologise for making light of allergies after backlash

Peter Rabbit film accused of 'food bullying' as rabbits pelt allergic man with blackberries

Peter Rabbit film accused of 'food bullying' as rabbits pelt allergic man with blackberries

The character is then forced to eat a blackberry and suffers a reaction, needing to use an Epi-pen to treat his allergy.

The film, based on the popular children's story by Beatrix Potter, includes a scene in which the protagonist and his long-eared companions pelt the human character of Mr. McGregor with fruit.

On Sunday, Sony Pictures said in a statement that the film "should not have made light" of a character being allergic to blackberries "even in a cartoonish" way.

And because it's a kid's movie, many parents are upset at Peter Rabbit for joking about a medical condition that, according to Kids With Food Allergies, affects one in 13 children.

The studio and filmmakers said they "sincerely regret not being more aware and sensitive to this issue, and we truly apologise".

"The very real fear and anxiety that people experience during an allergic reaction (often referred to as an impending sense of doom) is a serious matter", the group wrote.

The post encouraged parents to discuss the scene with their kids prior to taking them to the movie and said "making light" of allergic reactions could be at the cost of another person's life.

Peter Rabbit also stars Margot Robbie and James Corden and was released in the USA on February 3rd and is due for release in the United Kingdom on March 16th.

Australian group Global Anaphylaxis Awareness and Inclusivity (Globalaai) has created a petition asking Sony Pictures to apologise, saying the scene is socially irresponsible.

"We are aware that the reactions about this movie by our community are mixed".

The hashtag #boycottpeterrabbit has also kicked off on social media. An open letter to the studio talked about recent incidents wherein children died after being bullied with their allergens at school. Police later arrested a fellow student on suspicion of attempted murder, the Sun reported.

Peter Rabbit arrives in United Kingdom cinemas on March 16.

The movie, directed by Will Gluck, earned $25 million in its first weekend in the United States.