Peter Rabbit, Whats To Get Hopping Mad Over?

Image taken from Sony

So here’s a title I didn’t think I’d be writing, or a film I didn’t think I’d ever need to be thinking about, but you know it’s a funny old world we live in, so here goes…. nb the following may ( at times) contain adult language. I’m not sorry.

It might have come to your attention this week that a certain scene in the new Peter Rabbit film involves targeting the “baddie” with his allergen ( blackberries) to induce an anaphylactic reaction, so those cute little bunnies can get their garden back. Oh and how the world has reacted, calls to boycott the film from angry and upset allergy parents and sufferers, and the comments from the keyboard worriers. The trolls and the fucking ignorant have been out in force and the comments have been vile. Good friends have been vilified for their upset over this scene and I’m not sure that people understand why? Well let me try and help you with this….

Unless you deal with allergies you will never know ( or care probably) about them. I mean why would you if you are not affected by them? As a parent with a child who has a severe allergy, let me tell you it often takes up a lot of your thoughts, worries and time. Any parent has a duty to keep their child safe. This is not being a ” Precious Snowflake ‘ as some have commented this week, it is more than that. Food allergy bullying is very real. My tiny four year old has already had teasing due to her nut allergies. I had not prepared her for it. I didn’t think it would happen with children so young. So here’s my beef with that scene. It’s a film aimed at kids, they are easily influenced. It would only take one view to sow the seed in wrong person’s mind. That same child could well be the one little shit that will smear peanut butter across an allergic child or spike their food or ( like the rabbit) try and somehow get the allergen into that person.

I hope you never have to take that trip in an ambulance with your child, whatever the reason.

I’ve been there with my daughter, helpless as her breathing struggles, her face swells, her little body desperately rejecting the allergen, a shot of adrenaline does not instantly resolve the attack, sometimes it takes 2, sometimes it might not work and you are then faced with the possibility of losing a loved one.

Allergies kill, the lack of education around allergies will also kill. According to Anaphylaxis UK admissions to hospital for food allergies has increased by 700% since 1990. That is one huge increase. FAACT state that a study in 2010 found 35% of children with food allergies were bullied and the vast majority of those were bullied by another child. It’s probably seen as a joke, or a dare or curiosity to see what will happen, whatever, if any allergy requires the use of an epi-pen to treat a reaction it isn’t a laughing matter, and should at least be portrayed factually correct if going to be in a film.

In the scene the character administrators his epi-pen and then hey ho a minute later is off chasing rabbits again. This is NEVER the case in real life. I get the flow of the movie wouldn’t have been the same if McGregor was taken to hospital, but still it’s portraying that one shot is all you need. The amount of times I’ve had said to me -” It’s ok, she has her epi-pen” only high lights the lack of education and understanding there is around allergies. I’ve seen the scene, it’s stupid, and in my opinion not funny- my biggest moan is that it’s not correct either. I mean at least show the pen being used correctly ( 1/2 mark for the fact he does carry it though).

I’m not calling for you to boycott this movie, go see it, or don’t I really couldn’t give a rats arse. What I would urge you to do is use to opportunity to educate your kids. Explain why it’s dangerous to tease or use an allergen to target a person, actually just use the opportunity to teach that bullying is wrong, and in whatever capacity.

As for us we won’t be going to see the film, not because I’m being precious, it’s more to do with the fact mini me loathes Peter Rabbit in most capacities. I mean in her words “Well it’s not about a horse mummy, so it’s rubbish” and do you know what? I can’t say I blame her. This really is a far cry from the nostalgic tales that we all grew up with. Beatrix Potter’s lovable character has become an arse and I for one feel very disappointed with it.