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Some parents are boycotting "Peter Rabbit" over what they call "food allergy bullying"

Sony Pictures has apologized, stating that "food allergies are a serious issue"

CNN  — 

“Peter Rabbit” has found itself in the middle of a food allergy controversy that has prompted some parents to boycott the animated children’s film and Sony Pictures to issue an apology.

The uproar began with a bundle of blackberries.

One scene shows the rabbit Peter and his forest friends attacking their archnemesis, Mr. McGregor, by throwing blackberries at him. Mr. McGregor is allergic to blackberries and starts choking, having to inject himself with an epinephrine injector.

The film, released Friday, was Sony Pictures’ big-screen take on the classic characters and tales from British children’s author Beatrix Potter. In the film, the blackberries were at the center of one of many attack plots the creatures carried out to win an ongoing feud with Mr. McGregor.

Now, due to that scene, parents of children with life-threatening allergies are condemning the movie and expressing their concerns on Twitter with the hashtag #boycottpeterrabbit.

“For them to mock something so serious is irresponsible and dangerous,” said Dr. Purvi Parikh, an allergist and immunologist at NYU Langone Medical Center and an allergist with the nonprofit Allergy & Asthma Network.

Parikh added that there have been real-life cases in which school bullies have used food allergies to threaten and harm other children.

“This is very dangerous and anxiety-provoking, as deaths occur when food allergies are not taken seriously,” she said.

Sony Pictures and the filmmakers of “Peter Rabbit” have released a statement in response.

“Food allergies are a serious issue. Our film should not have made light of Peter Rabbit’s arch nemesis, Mr. McGregor, being allergic to blackberries, even in a cartoonish, slapstick way. We sincere