An Open Letter to Sony Pictures and the individuals behind the Peter Rabbit Movie:
My son, who is now 5 years old, had his first anaphylactic reaction to green peas when he was 12 months old. It was horrifying. He ate 5 peas and his face was swollen and he couldn’t breathe. It was absolutely terrifying. It has been a four-and-a-half-year long journey since to figure out the full picture of his food allergies (FYI – he is allergic to 8 foods). He has had another anaphylactic reaction in that time (to lentils) that required the use of an epi-pen. We injected my son with epinephrine, and then I got to watch them take him away (with my husband) in an ambulance to the hospital.
We have control of his allergies, and he is in the care of adults that I trust every day. He is thriving. Yet…in the back of my mind, every day, I am fully aware that today could be the day that I get that phone call from his school that he ingested something he is allergic to. It is always in the back of my mind.
Food allergy bullying is real. According to FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education), 1/3 of kids with food allergies report that they have been bullied because of their allergies. Well…today, you are that bully. And you didn’t bully 1/3 of the children in our country with food allergies. You have bullied ALL of them. You have displayed, in a children’s movie, that it is okay to intentionally harm someone with a disability. You have empowered and enabled bullies with your actions.
If someone launched green peas, or lentils, or any of the other 6 foods my son is allergic to into his mouth the way the rabbits did to McGregor in the movie with blackberries, he would need timely epinephrine. If he did not receive it, he would likely die.
Sony Pictures – I am calling on you to pull this film from release in order to delete this scene. Find another way to be funny. There are plenty, and they won’t come at the expense of the 1 in 13 children in this country that suffer from food allergies.
It’s 2018, and you have chosen to make a film that mocks individuals with disabilities (did you know that? A life threatening food allergy is a disability). You can do better. You MUST do better.