Sony’s new adaptation of the classic Beatrix Potter stories about the mischievous Peter Rabbit doesn’t look like it is going to pay homage to the original tone of Potter’s lovable tales. Instead, mouthy, rude rabbits juke around to thumping beats using slang language while destroying private property.
The preview looks pretty grim. Peter and his friends appear to be more like inner city gang members than a family of country rabbits looking for extra carrots. If that isn’t bad enough, parents of food-allergic children are on high alert after reports surfaced on Facebook of a disturbing scene that gives them nightmares.
“We saw it today and we were not prepared for what we saw,” Nicole Dre wrote on Facebook. “McGregor talks about his allergy to blackberries and how it makes his throat close. Peter and the rest of the rabbits attack him by launching fruits and vegetables at him. After a good amount of vegetables, they start launching blackberries and specifically aim to get them in his mouth. They do and he goes into anaphylaxis and uses his epi-pen. Peter also talks about how allergies are made up for attention and sympathy. Absolutely disgusting.”
Parents have flooded Sony’s Facebook page with requests for comment, but so far Sony has refused. PJM reached out to Sony but received no response.
Families who suffer with deadly allergies live on edge all the time. It is a terrifying existence where one contact with a surface that has been contaminated could mean death for their loved one. In our homeschool community, we have one such child who has had at least three scares that landed her in the hospital this year. Anaphylaxis in children is terrifying and deadly. Worse, the parents of afflicted children report that they face bullying from others at school because of their allergies. In one extreme case, a child was killed when school bullies reportedly tossed cheese into his mouth knowing he was deathly allergic, the New York Post reported.
“A schoolboy with a severe dairy allergy died after a cheese sandwich was allegedly stuffed or flicked into his mouth,” the paper reported. “It was believed Karanbir Cheema, 13, may have been targeted by bullies due to his condition. Another pupil, also a 13-year-old boy, was arrested. Karanbir, known to pals as Karan, died on Sunday at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital after 12 days in intensive care. He suffered an allergic reaction after an incident at William Perkin C of E High School in Greenford, West London, on June 28. It is thought a group taunted him with the sandwich.”
How do the makers of a children’s movie at Sony get it so terribly wrong? Peter Rabbit was mischievous and disobedient, but he wasn’t a homicidal maniac. Killing Farmer McGregor was never part of Peter’s goals. How Sony could write this in without thinking about their audience is hard to comprehend.
I hadn’t planned on taking my kids to see this beloved classic corrupted by Hollywood anyway, but now I hope you’ll skip it too.
Take some time to educate your kids about the dangers of exposing severely allergic friends to allergens. It is important that they know an EpiPen isn’t a cure-all and a hospital stay always follows while a family sits and prays they will have one more day with their child.
UPDATE February 12, 11:51 p.m. EST: Sony Pictures has apologized for the anaphylaxis scene, saying in a joint statement with the filmmakers that “food allergies and are a serious issue” and the film “should not have made light” of the issue “even in a cartoonish, slapstick way.”