Perhaps my opinion will be unpopular, but I think the food allergy community is overreacting and actually ruining a good opportunity. Let me explain.
Nothing is new about this. Some of us have been around longer than others. In 2009, outrage and hate was directed towards “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” because one of the lead characters swells from a peanut allergy. We then saw outrage again in 2014 with “Boxtrolls”, when the villain blows up because he is allergic to cheese. Both times we saw the same outraged reactions we are seeing today. What came of it ? Nothing. Except people thinking food allergy parents are too sensitive. All movies have something. It’s our reactions that matter.
I have watched social media. I read reviews of this movie. I wasn’t going to go as my kids were not interested, and frankly it looked dumb. That said, everything I have seen about this movie seems uninteresting and more suited for older children and young adults. For starters, the previews show Peter as a down right jerk! Food allergies aside, nobody is even mentioning the fact that prior to the food allergy scene, the older farmer dies of a heart attack and Peter does nothing. In fact, he rejoices. Why are we silent on that? This Rabbit is not a nice Rabbit.
Now, let’s address the food allergy issue. Okay, so Peter hatches a plan to kill the younger farmer with blackberries, one blackberry hits him in the mouth and he needs to use an epi-pen,which treats it. First, remember this is a movie! Nothing about this is supposed to real. That aside, we are missing a great teaching moment. The majority of people who see the movie may have no idea about food allergies, or even epi-pens. This could be a great chance to talk to someone on a rational level on what food allergies are, and why it’s so important to carry epi-pens with you, always. This could be also a great chance for kids who see the movie to talk to kids with allergies and get a better understanding of food allergies.
I have seen the posts made to Sony, and the comments on the Facebook page for the Peter Rabbit movie and some of them are upsetting. But do you really think this is going to change anything? Again, I refer to 2009 and 2014 outrage, then everyone forgets. So see the movie or don’t, that’s your choice. But I bet at least one of your child’s friends will see the movie, and will say something to them in school . Educating those who have no idea about food allergies or epi-pens is a better reaction to this movie.