Sony Picture’s Peter Rabbit has garnered a lot of headlines since its release. But we haven’t yet heard from the children that the allergy bullying scenes impact. That is until now. Please meet 9 year old, Anna Coleman from Colorado Springs. She shares her take on the film and what families and film companies need to do next. We have left this completely unedited, in her own words.
Anna Coleman, 9 – The movie Peter Rabbit is now playing at theaters. I was really excited to see it, but now I’m mad. In it, food allergies are shown as a way to hurt others and joked about as being not a big deal. Peter Rabbit is rated PG, but it should be rated R for reckless.
I was diagnosed with a life-threatening peanut allergy when I was two years old. I just turned nine. I’ve had other food allergies over the years come and go, like lemon, that was a weird one, but the peanut one is never going away. I’ve passed the age for growing out of it, and my IGE keeps going up.
Kids with food allergies have lots of anxiety and stress. We are always worried about if our food is allergen free, and where our allergen could be hiding. When people say my allergy is not a big deal, like Peter does in the movie, I don’t feel safe. When my friends tell me they have peanuts in their lunches and laugh, I don’t feel safe. Even our “safe” adults like teachers and family don’t always keep us safe and make mistakes. The bullies might see this movie and get ideas too.
To help distract me from my anxieties, I like to watch movies and shows. I don’t want to go see a movie and feel these feelings I feel most days. I want to get away from them! I’m speaking my heart here, and my heart says that this is wrong. Allergy kids have enough to deal with. We shouldn’t be fighting for adults to understand how wrong this is too. If you have allergies you’ll understand.
Sony Pictures should get rid of the scene where Peter Rabbit mocks the character’s food allergy and the scene when Peter and his friends cause him to have an allergic reaction to try to kill him. I want to be able to see the movie without being scared. No one, not grownups, kids or rabbits should mock each other for our differences. I try my best to be a kind and happy kid. The movie producers should try their best to be kind too.
You may think you’re good people, no one said you weren’t, but when you help other good people that makes you a really, really good person.
Please take the allergy scenes out of the movie. I may only be nine years old, and may not be tall or strong, but my voice speaks louder than any actions or inactions you take. Some adults that are way older than me haven’t even felt what I have felt. Having to be worried that you’re going to get hurt or die if you eat something wrong. I just want to have a great life as long as I can, and not get killed from peanuts. It’s a serious thing, and Sony Pictures should not joke about it. They need to think about how they’d feel if they had an allergy that was life-threatening. It shouldn’t be hard for the movie creators to see how helping, not making our lives harder, is the best thing to do here.
I want to challenge other kids with allergies to rise up and make their voices heard about this. I thought that I couldn’t do anything until I saw my older sister speak out for what she believes in. When you’re scared, but you speak up anyway, it makes you feel like you can do anything. Kids make a difference every day to create change in our world. They do! And so can you! This affects us, our families and our friends, so why can’t we try to do something about it?
If you do speak up, please use #KidsMadAtPeterRabbit. Believe in yourself, because I believe in you.
Anna Coleman, age 9
Colorado Springs, CO