In the movie, Peter Rabbit and his friends try to get by their arch nemesis Mr. McGregor by throwing blackberries at him. McGregor is allergic and the berries cause him a serious reaction.
Dr. Asriani Chiu at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin calls the scene a “bad example.”
Chiu says she has seen cases of children bullying others with food allergies and warns that the consequences can be serious. She says complications “range from skin related symptoms like hives or itching, but it can be a more severe reaction including a life-threatening reaction where it might affect the breathing or the heart and cardiovascular system.”
The makers of the film have released a statement apologizing for the scene:
“Food allergies are a serious issue. Our film should not have made light of Peter Rabbit’s archnemesis, Mr. McGregor, being allergic to blackberries, even in a cartoonish, slapstick way. We sincerely regret not being more aware and sensitive to this issue, and we truly apologize.”
Peter Rabbit brought in $25 million at the box office this weekend.