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Sony Apologizes for ‘Peter Rabbit’ Movie’s Allergy Scene

In an emailed statement on Sunday, the filmmakers and Sony Pictures apologized: “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.”

The statement, which was attributed in part to the film’s director, writers and producers, added, “We sincerely regret not being more aware and sensitive to this issue, and we truly apologize.”

PETER RABBIT – Official Trailer (HD) Video by Sony Pictures Entertainment

Kenneth Mendez, the president and chief executive of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, saw the movie on Saturday.

When the rabbits fire a blackberry into Mr. McGregor’s mouth, Mr. Mendez said, “there’s a close-up of his face, and it’s him holding his neck like he’s choking.” When Mr. McGregor collapses and appears to be dead for a moment, the rabbits cheer.

Mr. Mendez said in an open letter to the moviemakers that they should not mock food allergies, which are often life-threatening.

“Making light of this condition hurts our members because it encourages the public not to take the risk of allergic reactions seriously, and this cavalier attitude may make them act in ways that could put an allergic person in danger,” it said.

Mr. McGregor, played by Domhnall Gleeson, is made out to be the villain for most of the movie. He is determined to keep rabbits off his property using whatever he needs, from garden tools to an electric fence.

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