'Peter Rabbit' Is Facing Boycott Over 'Food Allergy Bullying' Scene, Filmmakers Respond

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There's a film version of Peter Rabbit about to hit the cinemas and it's already going down badly with a certain subset of United States audiences, with parents reacting with horror to a sequence where the CG animals torture one of the woodland friends' human accomplices by purposefully triggering his allergy.

A scene in the new big screen adaptation of the Beatrix Potter classic shows a character Tom McGregor - played by Domhnall Gleeson - who has a blackberry allergy, being pelted with the fruit by Peter Rabbit and a gang of bunnies, before he is eventually forced to use an EpiPen to recover from the attack.

The company said: 'We sincerely regret not being more aware and sensitive to this issue, and we truly apologise'.

Several groups representing allergy sufferers have called for a boycott of the film, warning that it is "grossly offensive" and makes light of a potentially fatal condition. During a reaction, patients require the life-saving drug epinephrine and must go to the nearest hospital for follow-up treatment.

The Kids With Allergies Foundation posted on Facebook that there is a scene in the children's movie that could be "disturbing" to viewers with a food allergy.

"This isn't the first time that Sony Pictures Animation has used food allergies as a punchline in the plot of a kids" movie", the letter said.

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Similarly, an online petition seeking an apology from Sony Pictures attracted thousands of signatures.

Following this, some Twitter users adopted the hashtag #boycottpeterrabbit.

"We are aware that the reactions about this movie by our community are mixed". "It is unnecessary for a film to show the characters intentionally attacking another with his food allergen to trigger anaphylaxis", it continued.

Some shared stories on social media about people who had to go through severe anxiety or even post-traumatic stress disorder following their experiences with anaphylaxis.

"Unfortunately, I believe the Peter Rabbit movie is sending a message that food allergies are not necessarily to be taken seriously and that food allergy bullying is something that is OK".