Allergy campaigners have penned an open letter of complaint to the filmmakers
The new Peter Rabbit film is facing a boycott over a scene in which he and his friends hurl blackberries at a character - knowing he is allergic to them.
The scene has prompted a furious backlash with some people accusing the filmmakers of creating a movie that "encourages food allergy bullying."
The filmmakers and the studio, Sony Pictures, have apologised following the outcry over the scene in which Mr McGregor's nephew Thomas is forced to use an EpiPen as a result of the attack.
It comes after the charity group Kids with Food Allergies posted a warning about the scene on social media and said it had written a letter to the filmmakers.
It wrote in a Facebook post: "It is unnecessary for a film to show the characters intentionally attacking another with his food allergen to trigger anaphylaxis.
"Portraying anaphylaxis as a joke can cause some people to have a cavalier attitude about food allergies which can put kids with food allergies at risk.
"We are asking filmmakers to work with us to raise awareness about the seriousness of food allergies, and help us promote positive attitudes and safe environments for kids with food allergies."
The controversy triggered a mixed reaction and the hashtag #boycottpeterrabbit on social media - with some people describing the scene as "insensitive", and others as "funny."
**Warning** For those who have children that live with food allergies (like mine), do NOT go see the new Peter Rabbit movie. Finding “humor” in bullying by Peter & friends to an allergy friend (who then needs an Epi) is sickening. Shame on @SonyPictures #BoycottPeterRabbit— Tom Murray (@thomascmurray) February 10, 2018
How can Sony Pictures release a film where food allergy bullying is acceptable? I guess the film industry won’t understand how wrong this is till they’re covered in hives and struggling to breathe. #boycottpeterrabbit— Julia B (@PartyVIP101) February 11, 2018
I think everyone needs to let @SonyPictures know that bullying someone with a food they are deathly allergic to is not funny in any way. Real families deal with the fear of this happening to a family member every day. #shame #boycottpeterrabbit #foodallergiesarenotfunny— Quakes-JD (@JDMcCall1) February 12, 2018
One woman posted an image of her daughter crying in a bed and wrote: "This is what an anaphylactic reaction looks like in a child. This is AFTER epinephrine and Benadryl. It's NOT a punchline to a joke. #boycottpeterrabbit."
However, others didn't understand what the fuss was about.
#boycottpeterrabbit is the most ridiculous thing I've seen today and it's 07:17am. I understand where they're coming from but— Sophie Dolan (@TechieDolan) February 12, 2018
1) it's a film
2) the entire film is literally a man setting up inhumane traps to harm rabbits forcing them out of home
3) cartoons have done far worse
Kenneth Mendez, the president and CEO of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, also wrote an open letter to the studio urging it 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 apologise."
The controversial scene is in a film adaptation of Peter Rabbit, the much-loved Beatrix Potter character, which was released in US cinemas at the weekend.
The movie, starring James Corden who voices the character of Peter, will hit the big screen in Ireland on 16 March.