The Peter Rabbit movie wasn’t something I wanted to see anyway. I’d seen a few previews and it looked to be full of the sort of humor that I don’t find funny, so I wasn’t making plans to see it–but after hearing reviews and the response from the food allergy community, we will definitely not be seeing this movie.
According to online sources and friends, the rabbits (they ARE supposed to be the protagonists, right?) intentionally and maliciously throw allergens into someone’s mouth. He goes into anaphylaxis and has to use epinephrine. Earlier in the movie, upon learning of the allergy, Peter mocks it and says that allergies are made up for attention.
This treatment of food allergies is, unfortunately, pretty normal within the entertainment industry. Instead of using their massive platform to highlight the dangers of food allergies, Hollywood seems bent on placing us at the butt of sick joke after sick joke. It’s no wonder the general public is so slow to catch on to just how serious food allergies are.
Reactions to this movie, even within food allergy circles, have been widely varied, from those wishing to boycott the film to those who feel others are making way too big a deal out of it. And not remotely surprisingly, among those without
food allergies (especially on opinionated Twitter) the second opinion is quite prevalent.
Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion of course, and my opinion is that this sort of treatment of food allergies in mainstream Children’s Entertainment is irresponsible and dangerous. Let’s look at a few counter arguments and we’ll talk about why here on my main blog.