'Peter Rabbit' filmmakers apologizes for making light of allergies

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It's no laughing matter according to furious parents on social media and the charity organisation Kids with Food Allergies, which said: "It is unnecessary for a film to show the characters intentionally attacking another with his food allergen to trigger anaphylaxis".

The film was released in the U.S. last week and according to America's Kids With Food Allergies Foundation (KFA), it includes a scene where a character is intentionally attacked with his allergen, which leads to anaphylaxis.

In "Peter Rabbit" which was released this weekend, the character of Mr. McGregor is allergic to blackberries.

The new "Peter Rabbit" movie has faced criticism from allergy suffers over a scene in which characters deliberately pelt an allergic man with blackberries. They wrote: "The new movie, Peter Rabbit, has a scene that may be disturbing to young viewers who have a food allergy".

"During a reaction, patients require the life-saving drug epinephrine and must go to the nearest hospital for follow-up treatment", it said.

The studio and filmmakers say that they, "Sincerely regret not being more aware and sensitive to this issue, and we truly apologize".

Blackberries' plant
GETTY ILL In the film Peter Rabbit attacks Tom with blackberries causing an allergic reaction

KFA said the fear and anxiety experienced during an allergic reaction is very serious.

"In addition to the organization's complaints, many parents have called for a boycott of the children's movie, and the hashtag "#boycottpeterrabbit" has gathered support on Twitter.

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

In a Facebook post the group said that "food allergy jokes are harmful to our community" and that making light of the condition "encourages the public not to take the risk of allergic reactions seriously". The post, which was shared on Saturday, February 10 and addressed to the makers of the movie, began, "We are aware that the reactions about this movie by our community are mixed".

"At least based on its trailer, the "Peter Rabbit" film appears to have been aggressively engineered to make people sad", a reviewer said then.

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