'Peter Rabbit' team apologizes for making light of allergies

FILE - This image released by Columbia Pictures shows Peter Rabbit, voiced by James Corden and Cottontail in a scene from "Peter Rabbit." The filmmakers and the studio behind it are apologizing for insensitively depicting a character's allergy in the film that has prompted backlash online. Sony Pictures said Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018, in a statement the film "should not have made light" of a character being allergic to blackberries "even in a cartoonish" way. (Columbia Pictures/Sony via AP, File)

LOS ANGELES — "Peter Rabbit" filmmakers and the studio behind it are apologizing for insensitively depicting a character's allergy in the film that has prompted backlash online.

Sony Pictures says Sunday in a joint statement with the filmmakers that "food allergies and are a serious issue" and the film "should not have made light" of a character being allergic to blackberries "even in a cartoonish, slapstick way."

In "Peter Rabbit" which was released this weekend, the character of Mr. McGregor is allergic to blackberries. The rabbits fling the fruit at him in a scene and he is forced to use an EpiPen.

The charity group Kids with Food Allergies posted a warning about the scene on its Facebook page Friday prompting some on Twitter to start using the hashtag #boycottpeterrabbit. The group said that allergy jokes are harmful to their community and that making light of the condition "encourages the public not to take the risk of allergic reactions seriously."

Kenneth Mendez, the president and CEO of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, wrote an open letter to the studio Saturday asking for the opportunity to educate the company and the film's cast on the realities of food allergies and urged the studio to "examine your portrayal of bullying in your films geared toward a young audience."

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

You may also interested in

APNewsBreak: California may beef up electric...

Aug 13, 2016

California lawmaker to introduce legislation requiring 15 percent of all new vehicles be zero...

NASA: Last month was Earth's hottest in recorded...

Aug 15, 2016

NASA calculates that Earth broiled to its hottest month in recorded history in July

Prosecutor: Russian man's computer linked to...

Aug 16, 2016

A federal prosecutor told the jury during opening statements on Monday that when federal agents...

Google's Duo app joins crowded field of video...

Aug 16, 2016

Google releases video calling app Duo in challenge to other popular services run by Apple,...

Congress receives FBI notes from Clinton interview

Aug 17, 2016

Congress has received FBI documents related to the investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a...

The Next Daily is the new generation of online publication, serving you the most recent discoveries made in science and technology on a daily basis. At The Next Daily, we believe in the power of consistent and reliable reporting to inspire and move mankind forward.

Contact us: sales[at]thenextdaily.com