Sony apologises for making light of food allergies in ‘Peter Rabbit’

Sony Pictures and the Peter Rabbit filmmakershave apologised for making light of allergies following calls to boycott the movie, which hit U.S. cinemas over the weekend. 

A scene in the new adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s classic shows character Tom McGregor, who’s allergic to blackberries, being pelted with the berries by Peter and his friends. One of the berries lands in Tom’s mouth, and he has to use an EpiPen to treat his allergic reaction. 

The scene prompted a massive outcry on social media, and many parents called on people to boycott the film, which they deemed to find “humor in bullying” people living with allergies. 

Brittany Dye, a parent of a child with a severe food allergy, penned an open letter calling on Sony Pictures to pull the film, which she said “mocks children with disabilities.” 

“If someone launched green peas, or lentils, or any of the other 6 foods my son is allergic to into his mouth the way the rabbits did to McGregor in the movie with blackberries, he would need timely epinephrine. If he did not receive it, he would likely die,” wrote Dye in the letter. 

One parent of a daughter with allergies called the scene “sickening.” 

“Please stop showing anaphylaxis as something that is funny,” wrote another person on Twitter. 

Another parent of a child with “severe food allergies” called the film “absolutely disgusting.” 

In a Facebook post, the Kids With Food Allergies (KFA) Foundation wrote that the scene “may be disturbing to young viewers” with food allergies. 

“KFA believes that food allergy ‘jokes’ are harmful to our community,” read the post. “During a reaction, patients require the life-saving drug epinephrine and must go to the nearest hospital for follow-up treatment.” 

They added that the scene was harmful to those living with allergies. “Making light of this condition hurts our members because it encourages the public not to take the risk of allergic reactions seriously, and this cavalier attitude may make them act in ways that could put an allergic person in danger,” the post continued. 

A spokesperson for Sony Pictures said in a statement that the film “should not have made light” of the character’s allergy “even in a cartoonish, slapstick way.” 

“We sincerely regret not being more aware and sensitive to this issue, and we truly apologize,” the statement continued.

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Jimmy Kimmel brought his adorable son Billy on the show, after his heart surgery

Jimmy Kimmel’s son Billy, who was born with congenital heart disease and who has been at the center of the talk show host’s arguments around U.S. healthcare, had his second open heart surgery last week. So, Kimmel brought him on Monday’s show.

Kimmel has taken time off during Billy’s surgery, instead inviting guest hosts Chris Pratt, Melissa McCarthy, Tracee Ellis Ross andNeil Patrick Harris to keep the seat warm.

Billy’s surgery was a roaring success, and Kimmel thanked the doctors and nurses at the Children’s Hospital LA for his son’s treatment. “Daddy cries on TV but Billy doesn’t,” said a tearful Kimmel during his opening monologue.

Kimmel has been at the forefront of the U.S. healthcare debate recently, slamming the proposed Graham-Cassidy bill for not providing coverage for kids like Kimmel’s son (and rejoicing when it was blocked). On Monday’s show, Kimmel championed the CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program), administered by the Department of Health to cover families with modest incomes that are too high to qualify for Medicaid. Kimmel says Congress has failed to approve funding for it this year. He also urges people to enrol for healthcare before the cut-off date on Dec. 15.

Billy has one more surgery planned for when he’s six years old, then he’s done. Go get ’em Billy!

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9 things you don’t know about Americas unofficial first family, The Simpsons

This calls for a collective Belcher family belch
Image: FOX

Set your grills to medium-high, Bob’s Burgers fans, because the Belcher family’s lovable antics are officially coming to the big screen.

Are your palms as slick with sweat as Tina’s while gazing longingly at Jimmy Jr.’s butt? Well they should be, because the Fox animated show not only boasts an enviable cast of comedians, but also a heart of gold — with arteries as clogged as Teddy’s, presumably. (But they’re clogged with love, so keep shoving those burgers into our hearts!)

On Twitter, creator Loren Bouchard confirmed that the team behind the animated show is developing a feature film set for release in 2020:

Bouchard then immediately got our pulses racing by responding to a fan’s request for the film to focus on “Horseplay” (a reference to a character voiced by comedian Ron Funches, from the show’s legendary “Equestranauts” episode tackling the brony phenomenon). 

“We’re still kicking around titles, but ‘Horseplay, the Horsening’ is definitely in the running,” Bouchard tweeted back

That’s a juicy enough title to sink your teeth into. Bob’s Burgers is known for its Grade A pun and spoof humor — though, to be clear, the actual restaurant still only boasts a barely passing grade from health inspector Hugo. But if episode titles like “Eat, Spray, Linda” and “Zero Larp Thirty” are anything to go on, the team will certainly be serving up some choice meats for the film.

Yet, while Bouchard is committed to writing a film for Bob’s Burgers regulars, he also sees it as an opportunity for a grand re-re-re opening that brings new customers into the family comedy.

“We also know it has to fill every inch of the screen with the colors and the sounds and the ever so slightly greasy texture of the world of Bob’s – but most of all it has to take our characters on an epic adventure. In other words, it has to be the best movie ever made. But no pressure, right?!” Bouchard said in a statement, first reported by Deadline. 

It’s been a big year for Bob’s Burgers. While it may not be the cultural phenomenon that The Simpsons has become, the quirky step-sister of the Fox animated comedy lineup still took home its second Emmy Award for Best Animated Series last month.

We’re hoping the film will take Bob’s Burgers from being a secret menu item and raise it to entree status in the public’s eyes (or, uh, tummies.)

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Daily Show’s Trevor Noah thinks it’s finally time to talk about guns in America

Image: Dennis Van Tine/Sipa USA

In the wake of a mass shooting that left 59 dead and more than 520 people hurt, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “There’s a time and place for a political debate, but now is a time to unite as a country.” 

Well, The Daily Show‘s Trevor Noah thinks that’s BS. On Monday night, he called out politicians and members of the media who claimed right now is not the time to talk about gun control. 

“I feel like people are becoming more accustomed to this kind of news,” he said, noting there have been 20 mass shootings in the two years he’s lived in the United States. 

After the latest shooting — in which a gunman fired at a country music concert from his Las Vegas hotel room — pundits even turned to hotel security as a possible culprit. Instead of, you know, sane gun laws. 

“We seem to do everything to avoid talking about guns,” Noah said. 

The talk show host pointed out that Congress was still considering the Sportsman’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act, which would make it easier to buy silencers and armor-piercing bullets.

“I can only say I’m sorry,” Noah told the people of Las Vegas, “sorry that we live in a world where people would put a gun before your lives.”

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Jimmy Kimmel’s baby may save healthcare for 30 million people

Image: randy holmes/ABC via Getty Images

Welcome to 2017, where the American government has ceded its already crumbling moral authority to the former host of The Man Show.

Don’t you miss the 2016 election now?

Still, the last few days have produced some of the best material late night television has ever had to offer, and all it’s because of former Man Show star, Win Ben Stein’s Money co-host, and late night host, Jimmy Kimmel. Kimmel has not only taken on the Senate’s practically homicidal Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill, he’s done it without resorting to lies or distortions (how quaint!). He accomplished this by speaking from a place of deep empathy, and by centering on a character that remains untouchable across the political spectrum: his baby.

Back in May, Kimmel’s newborn son had to undergo an emergency open-heart surgery. It was this hardship that brought America’s perilous healthcare situation into sharp focus for the comedian. And as he’s grown more vocal about the issue, he returns to his own child as the impetus for his outspokenness.

That’s why every counter-attack by GOP politician and pundits against Kimmel has fallen flat on its face: in the symbolic war between sick babies and man-baby Senators, the sick baby will always win.

By positioning his baby at his monologue’s heart and center, he’s created the most sympathetic protagonist imaginable and made anyone who opposes that character a hateful antagonist by extension (which, I mean, is accurate). Everyone who attacks Kimmel’s position, is essentially attacking his baby. 

Not a good position for a politician.

“Before 2014, if you were born with congenital heart disease like my son was, there’s a good chance you would never be able to get health insurance because you had a pre-existing condition,” Kimmel said in May. “If your baby is going to die, and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make … we all agree on that, right? I mean, we do!” 

Babies work. There’s a reason why every politician is required to take a photo with them at some point in their campaign.

When I was a social worker, we talked a lot about “worthy victims” and “unworthy victims.” “Unworthy victims” are people a society has collectively decided are victims because of their own poor choices: the poor, victims of sexual assault, the homeless, welfare recipients, people of color, criminals and undocumented immigrants. “Worthy victims,” by contrast, are folks that society has deemed sufficiently worthy of empathy (and consequently, of charitable donations) including sick children, the elderly and people with *certain* disabilities.

That doesn’t mean that worthy victims are exactly living large in America. Just think of the folks who were cruelly pulled from their wheelchairs by Capitol police while protesting Trumpcare that summer. But it does mean that they, culturally at least, have tremendous worth. I can’t think of a stronger symbolic lead than Kimmel’s son — a sick, wealthy kind with a devastating illness — followed closely by his acerbic father. Is there anything Americans love more than a cynical man, who simultaneously knows his facts and is deeply in touch with his own tenderness?

Of a Fox and Friends host who attacked Kimmel for his monologues, Kimmel had this to say:

“And you know, the reason I’m talking about this is because my son had an open-heart surgery and has to have two more, and because of that, I’ve learned that there are kids with no insurance in the same situation,” Kimmel said. “I don’t get anything out of this, Brian [Kilmeade], you phony little creep. Oh, I’ll pound you when I see you.”

Just look at how these Republican politicians and pundits tiptoed around his attacks, especially as  they relate to Kimmy’s son, and relied on the tired excuse than Kimmel wasn’t smart enough to analyze the bill because’s he’s a late night comedian. 

Remember: these folks voted for a man who recently made up an African country in front of Africans and didn’t realize that Frederick Douglass was dead, so we’re not exactly dealing with “wonks” here. 

All late night comedians have in some ways impacted culture and by extension, politics, but Kimmel might become the first late night politicians to have an immediate, substantive impact on policy. There’s a Jimmy Kimmel test Senator Cassidy once told Congress it has to pass. Kimmel even ended his monologue with a screen full of Senator’s phone numbers, amplifying his personal story and turning it into collective action.

Babies work. There’s a reason why every politician is required to take a photo with them at some point in their campaign. There’s a reason why political ads that include children, like this one of Hillary’s, are far more effective than those that feature rehabilitated criminal — even though both would be endangered by Graham-Cassidy.  Kimmel even admitted that he was “politicizing his baby” for the greater good.  

Doing anything that might directly harm babies is one the last moral lines we have around these broken parts. Let’s see if one man’s 13-minute monologues are powerful enough to keep us from crossing it.

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