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Author Topic: Peter Rabbit filmmakers and studio apologize
Frank Cox
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 - posted 02-12-2018 02:27 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Peter Rabbit filmmakers and studio apologize for insensitively depicting character's allergy

quote:
Peter Rabbit filmmakers and the studio behind it are apologizing for insensitively depicting a character's allergy in the film that has prompted backlash online.

Sony Pictures said Sunday in a joint statement with the filmmakers that "food allergies are a serious issue" and the film "should not have made light" of a character being allergic to blackberries "even in a cartoonish, slapstick way."

In Peter Rabbit which was released this weekend, the character of Mr. McGregor is allergic to blackberries. The rabbits fling the fruit at him in a scene and he is forced to use an EpiPen.

The charity group Kids with Food Allergies posted a warning about the scene on its Facebook page Friday prompting some on Twitter to start using the hashtag, #boycottpeterrabbit. The group said that allergy jokes are harmful to their community and that making light of the condition "encourages the public not to take the risk of allergic reactions seriously."

Kenneth Mendez, the president and CEO of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, wrote an open letter to the studio Saturday asking for the opportunity to educate the company and the film's cast on the realities of food allergies and urged the studio to "examine your portrayal of bullying in your films geared toward a young audience."

The studio and filmmakers said that they "sincerely regret not being more aware and sensitive to this issue, and we truly apologize."


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Lyle Romer
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 - posted 02-12-2018 07:45 PM      Profile for Lyle Romer   Email Lyle Romer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I hope that Elon Musk gets his Mars community built soon. I think I need to move there. This planet has truly crossed the point of no return for ridiculous political correctness and "triggering."

A food allergy "community" is "harmed" by a joke? Ever hear "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me?" If you have a food allergy and see this scene, does it cause an allergic reaction somehow?

Years ago there was a comedian with cerebral palsy on "The Facts of Life" named Geri Jewel. Her comedy routine was all about joking about her condition.

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Martin Brooks
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This wasn't just making fun of someone with an allergy. In the film (which I haven't seen), a berry gets into the "villain's" mouth and he has an allergic attack and has to use an Epi-pen. I think that's a bit extreme in a movie meant for young kids.

If it were a movie not for kids, no problem. In the movie Hitch, Will Smith's character has an allergic reaction and his face swells up and it's played for laughs. I don't remember anyone complaining about that.

In the movie "Goonies", the main kid, played by Sean Astin had asthma and used an inhaler constantly during the film. At the end, he throws it away. I don't remember anyone complaining about that.

In this particular case, the complaints just might have been warranted. That whole plot line was completely unnecessary.

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Mike Blakesley
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quote: Martin Brooks
In the movie Hitch, Will Smith's character has an allergic reaction and his face swells up and it's played for laughs. I don't remember anyone complaining about that.

In the movie "Goonies", the main kid, played by Sean Astin had asthma and used an inhaler constantly during the film. At the end, he throws it away. I don't remember anyone complaining about that.

That's because those movies came out when people weren't so sensitive.

Heck, just about every disability, deformity or other kind of "non-normalness" has been played for laughs at some point. You could probably list hundreds of comedies that would never get made today to the hyper-sensitivity of some of these "groups."

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Bobby Henderson
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I think a bunch of Americans need to take a long sabbatical from 24 hour cable news, talk radio and other forms of what I consider emotional pornography. That stuff pretends to deliver news, but all it does is deliver manipulation. Viewers & listeners love tuning in to get that fiery rush from being outraged, like a drug addict getting another fix. If they took a break from all that negative crap they might be able to lighten up a little.

We have so many people in this country dropping dead of heart disease and strokes. I'm sure cable news has been surging the stress hormone cortisol in viewers for many years; that stuff is good at scorching and hardening arteries.

I still think there's lots of Americans who are far more reasonable and not itching to get pissed off at the slightest little thing. The trouble is they don't get much attention, not in the media and not online. Gripes are more likely to go viral than someone saying something positive. Then there's the factor where a person may be having a really great day, but he's too busy enjoying whatever he's doing than to spend time broadcasting it to everyone else.

Maybe this Peter Rabbit movie did something in bad taste. It does sound troubling since the movie is marketed to young children. And it seems like a lot of young kids have all sorts of allergies. I don't know what the hell is going on there. When I was a kid very few of my classmates had asthma. My theory is we got outdoors a lot more often at a very young age and built up our immune systems better. So many kids these days are very sheltered. The only times I was stuck indoors like that was when I was grounded.

Anyway, this country has to lighten up. I like comedy. We won't have much of any decent comedy left if more things keep getting added to the list of things too offensive to joke about.

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Justin Hamaker
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Sony's kids movies have a very long history of really poor writing. Their movies often rely on the obvious sight gags and puns, rather than the more clever writing common in Disney/Pixar movies. Sure many of their movies are a financial success because people find them entertaining. However they could usually be so much better with a better script.

Set aside the issue of whether this "food allergy bullying" is appropriate, or if the backlash is over blown, they could have accomplished the same basic thing in a better way. Rather than the character having a food allergy, make it about the stains on his house and/or clothes. This opens the door to slapstick scene involving the cleanup.

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Allan Barnes
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Personally, I am waiting for Warner Bros to "come clean" about that cross-dressing RABBIT and that PIG who refuses to wear pants. And lets not talk about that gun crazy hunter who his always "hunting rabbits."

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Lyle Romer
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Bobby, you 100% hit the nail on the head. The vast majority of Americans are laid back and "normal" just as we've always been.

The issue is a very small percentage have somehow been able to get a platform for stupid crap like this.

It definitely has a lot to do with the cable news culture that people use as a reason to get worked up about things. It has turned politics and issue discussion in general into a sporting event.

The people that get all worked up by that stuff treat everything like they are fanatic about a team and just want to have their side "win" the game. You can see plenty of evidence when interviews are done with people on the street where they ask them if they agree with a bunch of positions or statements of "their candidate." Then, after the interviewee states how strongly they agree, the interviewer reveals that the positions or statements are actually those of the opposite candidate.

America (and probably the rest of the western world) needs to just chill out. Enjoy life, stop trying to be offended about everything. Life is short. Why waste it fighting about stupid crap?

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Leo Enticknap
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quote: Justin Hamaker
Sony's kids movies have a very long history of really poor writing. Their movies often rely on the obvious sight gags and puns, rather than the more clever writing common in Disney/Pixar movies. Sure many of their movies are a financial success because people find them entertaining. However they could usually be so much better with a better script.
As borne out by the fact that the food allergy gag was not in the original book, and Beatrix Potter's books have been entertaining kids, harmlessly and effectively, since she wrote and illustrated them around a century ago. So even starting with such high quality source material, Sony still succeeded in adapting it into something controversial and problematic.

I haven't seen the movie, but in the book, Mr. McGregor blasts away at Peter Rabbit with a double-barreled shotgun. I wonder if that's been censored out of the movie on PC grounds.

As for food allergies, I get teased all the time when I have to explain my dairy allergy in restaurants and ask for things with no butter or cheese on it (it's not radioactive, don't be such a picky eater, what have you got against those poor cows? etc. etc.). If I can think of something remotely witty to fire back at them I will, but most of the time I just smile and move on. Granted, that's more difficult to do if you're a five-year old, but there are still a lot of people who have weighed in to this one who could do with growing a pair.

quote: Allan Barnes[/quote
Personally, I am waiting for Warner Bros to "come clean" about that cross-dressing RABBIT and that PIG who refuses to wear pants. And lets not talk about that gun crazy hunter who his always "hunting rabbits."
Not to mention MGM and their cat who is fond of high explosives and is constantly being pursued by a heavily armed, African-American tormentor.

It won't be long before Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry are having R-ratings slapped on the BD sleeves, and carrying parental advisories on Netflix (if they're even available at all). I have an old and faded 16mm print of Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips that I occasionally enjoy outraging PC friends and relatives with. Then when I tell them that Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarfs is but a Google click away (though probably not for long), the poor buggers almost have a heart attack.

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Dennis Benjamin
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I am surprised they haven't re-issued the DCP with that scene cut out yet.

I'm serious.

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Mike Blakesley
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Probably cost a couple million dollars to do that, or more, and since the damage is done they figure it's not worth it.

Maybe they'll re-edit it for the video.

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Martin McCaffery
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Too be fair, kids can be real a-holes to other kids. I remember tormenting another kid because he was allergic to bees and scared to death of them. I can easily see a bunch of fifth graders thinking it would be hilarious to cause an allergic reaction in another kid just so he'd react "funny" and have to pull out his epic-pen. I haven't seen the film, nor do I intend to, but I can understand not giving little jerks any more bad ideas than they already have.

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Frank Cox
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There was a movie with flashing lights in it that came with an epilepsy warning a few years back.

Twilight maybe?

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Bobby Henderson
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quote: Lyle Romer
Bobby, you 100% hit the nail on the head. The vast majority of Americans are laid back and "normal" just as we've always been.

The issue is a very small percentage have somehow been able to get a platform for stupid crap like this.

It definitely has a lot to do with the cable news culture that people use as a reason to get worked up about things. It has turned politics and issue discussion in general into a sporting event.

There are serious consequences for people habitually feeding on emotions like fear and anger. On the individual level it's bad for one's own health. Stress is a factor in things like heart disease. All that toxic content can negatively influence personality and outlook on life. At a bad enough level it will rub friends and family the wrong way. Every person has only so much tolerance for being around someone who has turned into an asshole.

The nasty thing about online social networks is it allows lots of people to behave in ways they would otherwise not behave in a public, in-person social setting. This outrage about Peter Rabbit taps into that just a little. Online a person can type out an all-caps rage post, whereas if he was talking to the movie director in person he would probably tone down the anger a great deal.

I believe kids are being robbed of essential parts of childhood via all this cultural paranoia. If a parent watches a lot of news coverage he/she might be conditioned to think predators are waiting just down the street 24/7 for the one chance to grab their kids. Crime in America was statistically much worse when I was a child, yet my brother and I had more freedom and independence than most kids today. We didn't have helicopter parents shadowing us to every baseball practice, scout meeting or whatever we were doing outside on a Saturday afternoon. People my age routinely complain about Millennials and younger people not being motivated, self-reliant, etc. Yet these same Gen-X parents fail to mention their role in raising kids to be that way.

On the group level mass hysteria undermines things like our democracy and criminal justice system. Dictatorships and genocide are born out of that kind of poison.

I've been fairly disturbed lately with how the media has all but suspended due process with the "times up" and "me too" movements. I think it's great some monster douchebags are getting their uppencomence. But what if someone innocent gets accused? The media is acting like that's impossible. And that's despite recent cases, like the Rape of Campus article that badly disgraced Rolling Stone magazine. A couple weeks ago a guy named Malcolm Alexander was released from a Louisiana prison after serving 38 years for a rape he didn't commit. DNA evidence proved his innocence. Why the hell did it take so long for the state to test that evidence? Last November Louisiana released Wilburt Jones; he served 45 years for a rape he didn't commit. He went into prison at age 19 and left at age 65. Later this year a movie about Brian Banks is going to be released. He was a star high school football player who sent nearly 6 years in prison and another 5 years on probation and on the sex offenders list before his accuser admitted to making up the whole story. I can imagine a lot of people in the "me too" movement getting triggered by this movie's release.

I wonder how many Americans are familiar with the history of the Salem Witch Trials. Parts of America's constitution were inspired by that horrible tragedy.

It's okay for anyone to be passionate about a certain issue. But none of those issues will be solved with a "my way or the highway" approach. Us versus them, zero sum game thinking makes people closed minded and walled off from creative thinking and developing creative solutions to serious issues. They end up defending their part of the status quo, even if parts of it are clearly corrupt and not worthy of defending.

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Mike Blakesley
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quote: Leo Enticknap
It won't be long before Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry are having R-ratings slapped on the BD sleeves, and carrying parental advisories on Netflix (if they're even available at all).
Oh it's already happening, to an extent. The Looney Tunes box sets issued a few years ago came with a warning saying that they were "meant for the adult collector and may not be suitable for children." And at least one of the sets had a forced-view warning on each disk starring that racist, Whoopi Goldberg, apologizing for how horrible those old cartoons are but "they are part of history and that is why we present them here" or something like that.

I suppose the fact that none of the stuff in those shorts bothers me makes ME a racist, since I'm a white guy. I guess, if that's the case, I'll try to live with myself while enjoying classic Looney Tunes.

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