BOSTON (CBS) – Some people are saying the new movie “Peter Rabbit” is guilty of food bullying.
Parents of children with food allergies say one scene in particular sends a dangerous message.
The scene shows Peter Rabbit and his bunny friends throwing blackberries at a character who is allergic to them. The movie maker has apologized but some people say that’s not enough.
“I’m at a loss for words about it just because I can’t believe that Sony Pictures, I think is who did this movie, would actually put that into a movie where children are going to see it,” says Kristie DeLoreto who heads the Peabody chapter of the Allergy and Asthma Awareness Initiative.
Her son, Michael carries an EpiPen at all times because of his allergies.
“I’m allergic to nuts, so tree nuts and then sesame seeds,” he says.
When Kristie heard about the Peter Rabbit movie where the rabbits throw blackberries at Mr. McGregor because he’s allergic to them, all for a laugh, it hit close to home.
“The thing that bothered me the most was just the laughing and the bullying and the way they were doing that to harm him,” she says.
An organization called Kids with Food Allergies took to Facebook saying “food allergies are not a punchline” and demanding an apology.
Sony Pictures responded saying they “should not have made light” of a character with a food allergy “even in a cartoonish” way, adding “We sincerely regret not being more aware and sensitive to this issue, and we truly apologize.”
“A lot of kids are bullied because of their food allergies. I had a friend who was part of the organization. Her daughter, in middle school, some girls threw peanut M & Ms at her. They knew she was allergic to peanuts. They spread them all around her chair,” Kristie DeLoreto said.
“Just don’t do it. It’s not funny to the person it’s being done to,” adds her son, Michael.
Some parents are taking another step, going on Twitter with #boycottpeterrabbit.