The character Tom McGregor, who has an allergy to the berries, is attacked by Peter and his friends who shower him with the fruit, even shooting one into his mouth, until he is forced to use an EpiPen to treat his reaction. When he swallows one he has to stab himself with a hypodermic shot to fend off a potentially deadly reaction.
The studio and filmmakers said that they "sincerely regret not being more aware and sensitive to this issue, and we truly apologise". Organizations in the United States and Australia have slammed the live-action/CGI animated take on Beatrix Potter's classic children's books for its portrayal of "food allergy bullying".
Peter Rabbit arrives in United Kingdom cinemas on March 16.
The online petition was started by Globalaai, an organisation that describes itself as "a worldwide allergy and anaphylaxis movement for positive change of social awareness and safety".
Supporters argue the scene is "heartbreakingly disrespectful" to families who have lost loved ones to anaphylaxis, a serious allergic reaction causing death.
According to Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America president, Kenneth Mendez, this isn't the first time Sony Pictures Animation has used food allergies as a "punchline in the plot of a kids' movie" with The Smurfs and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs including similar scenes. During a reaction, patients require the life-saving drug epinephrine and must go to the nearest hospital for follow-up treatment.
Groups from around the world condemned it for "making light" of food allergies.