‘Peter Rabbit’ Leaves Viewers Outraged Thanks to One Scene

Our Sarah Tawfeek breaks down the controversy behind ‘Peter Rabbit.’



Sarah Tawfeek, Contributing Writer

The highly anticipated film “Peter Rabbit” hit theaters on February 9, yet viewers were left outraged by one particular scene in the movie.

Based off a fictional character from the famous children’s stories by Beatrix Potter, the film follows Peter Rabbit (James Corden) and his three sisters. The family of rabbits lives in a vegetable garden owned by a man named Mr. McGregor (Sam Neill). After a relative of the owner moves in, he does everything he can to rid the rabbits from the land. Peter must choose to fight back or flee. What seems like a harmless children’s film has left a majority of its viewers shocked and angered.

A scene in which a blackberry is used as a defense mechanism against an allergic character has viewers boycotting the film for it being “cruel” and “heartless.” Those with serious allergy issues are especially offended by it. A character by the name of Tom McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson) had a blackberry thrown into his mouth with a slingshot. Doing this, the rabbits hoped it would allow them to gain access back into the garden. Tom McGregor then has a serious allergic reaction which leads him to inject himself with an EpiPen.

Viewers of the movie believe that incorporating such a scene into the film would encourage others to take allergic reactions lightly. Through multiple media outlets, parents began to share that they would not be taking their children to see the movie for its shameful content.

With constant backlash towards the film, Sony had raised an apology and alerted everyone that allergies are a serious matter to be discussed. They also included that regardless of the film being a cartoon, they should not have made light of such a critical situation.

In an open letter to the makers of “Peter Rabbit,” Kenneth Mendez, the president and chief executive of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, said why this scene has such a negative impact.

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

“Peter Rabbit” which features actors such as James Corden and Rose Byrne has made an estimated box office total of $30 million with a six-star rating on IMDb and a 59% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.