Quit Bellyaching Over Peter Rabbit!

Yesterday, my husband who knows me well sent me a link to an intriguing article about some parents boycotting Peter Rabbit the movie on the premise that it encourages “allergy bullying”. In a nutshell, this was due to a scene depicting the annoying fictionalized  bunnies who slingshot some blackberries in to the mouth of the farmer, knowing very well that he was allergic to the berry. Then causing the farmer to go into anaphylactic reaction and collapse, but thankfully had an EpiPen with him to counter the effect. As a result of this boycott, Sony provided an apology to all the offended parents  for the insensitive material.

I’ll have to admit that it took me more than just a hot minute to ponder over this and come to terms with how I felt about the situation. I mean, I have 3 kids and as any loving parent would, I worry about bullying on a daily basis. Initially I would not have thought much about it, but then all this pondering opened up a floodgate of many other things I worry about and find quite concerning with this movie. Here’s the thing though… I’ve searched the web, and I’m not sure why other groups are not speaking up.

Why isn’t the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (aspca)  boycotting due to what clearly is a depiction of animal cruelty as the farmer is always trying to trap/kill these rabbits?  Why isn’t the US Hunger Relief Organization boycotting due to the disregard for crops, when there are so many starving children in this nation? Why aren’t the Feminist groups boycotting the movie on the premise that the main character has a strong masculine name, Peter and his male sidekicks name is Benjamin while the females have names like Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail, which denote weakness and appearance attribution? Why aren’t  Law Enforcement agencies  speaking up and issuing a warning on the movie due its glorification of gang-like behavior, as Peter Rabbit and his Gang shows outright disregard for the law as they consistently trespass the farmers property, STEAL his crops and even try to seek revenge?

I think I may be losing sleep worrying that these parents who are boycotting the movie solely on the bullying scene though are in effect helping society minimize all these other offenses that may mold and nurture our children toward a life of crime.

Between the gang, the stealing, and the bullying alone, I’d say this 1 hour and 40 minute movie is a recipe for disaster for all our children, undoing ALL the positive qualities we’ve been trying to instill in them since birth.

Are you sensing some interjected sarcasm? Maybe a little.

You see, sans the “allergy bullying” scene, I can say with confidence that prior to buying a ticket to this movie, I already knew that taking my kids to watch it would mean they’d be exposed to rabbit misfits, stealing, conniving, trespassing and battling with an adult. The fact is that we are provided with all that information in the long-winded trailers littering kid friendly television time slots, and hence probably why most kids jump at the chance to watch it. As parents, we too have seen the trailers, because, of course every responsible parent is fully aware of what their kids are exposed to on television. And every prepared parent logically researches the actual premise of a movie before exposing their innocent and vulnerable offspring to these larger than life influential images. And every intelligent parent knows well to never allow animation fool us in to believing that all is wholesome in the world of Hollywood. Take those cute anthropomorphic bunnies and replace them with actual human kids and BAM!, an off-limit flick. Or, forget human replacement. How about substituting these bunnies with cartoon characters the likes of the Simpson’s, and BAM!, still off-limits.

A piece of advice to parents that get offended by Hollywood’s portrayal of ANYTHING. Go big or go home. Don’t pick apart a movie just because YOUR kid suffers from allergies, then minimize or turn a blind eye to all the other probable worrisome faults of the same movie.  Food bullying? Sure, that’s definitely wrong. But then boycott the plethora of issues with the entire movie. If your expectation is that an entertainment corporation needs to be sensitive to YOUR plight, then make sure that you too are sensitive to everyone else’s plight. How else will you be able to teach your child to be inclusive? Or will your singular concern teach your child that only HIS issues are worth your time and voice?

Here are other pieces of advice. Research thoroughly the context of anything. Watch with clear eyes the trailers and information given on anything. Use those negative portrayals to teach our children valuable lessons. Let us also teach our children that the world cannot logically accommodate every one and every situation, but provide them with great tangible solutions on how to handle each. And last, let us all remember to put the responsibility on to ourselves as our kids main source of values and stop expecting Hollywood, or religion, or politicians or our neighborhood to do it for us.

At the end of the day, your kid will forget Peter Rabbit in a month and remember everything YOU taught them in all their years.

The Pretty Platform 


7 thoughts

  1. We all need to stop getting our panties in a twist! It’s Peter Rabbit for goodness sake! Society can find a way to get offended at ANYTHING these days! Thanks for your lighthearted note! I haven’t been able to see it yet, but it’s probably happening Tuesday because I have been looking forward to it for months!


  2. I guess I missed the hype. I don’t have littles who would watch the movie and I didn’t even know it was out.

  3. So I took my five-year-old to go see this movie with me on opening night. Her only complaint was that it was too loud, which hey I wasn’t expecting the bombs either. Parents want to pick apart the movie for a food allergy, but what about throwing food or sticks of dynamite (remember the old looney tunes! I loved them, but that doesn’t mean I throw sticks of dynamite). I thought it was cute to help pass the stories along to a new generation. Stop being offended by everything and if a parent wants they could use this time as a teaching experience for their kid. I asked my five-year-old if it was nice was the rabbits did the man and she said no…great let’s move on and have some laughs.

  4. Like you, I’m skeptical of whether or not this movie will actually spur real-life bullying. Of course, bullying is disgusting, awful, and infuriating, but I think, in general, having troubling content in films/media is not always bad. Sometimes we *should* confront uneasy topics and grapple with the evils of the world. It could help kids learn to take a stand on issues that impact their lives and to start making moral decisions.

  5. I love your idea of researching what you bring your kids to see. It’s so true that they will forget about the movie and remember what we taught them! If they see something bothersome, we can talk to them about it whether it be in a movie or elsewhere.

  6. I really don’t think kids are going to start bullying people with allergies because of this movie. I mean, animated films have a lot of ‘bad behavior’ included for entertainment value, and it’s not exactly turning everyone into little delinquents. LOL I do agree that when it comes to inclusiveness, you can’t just be worried about what affects you and your child, but everyone. At any rate, I do want to see Peter Rabbit! 🙂


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