Mike Epps may have thought bringing a kangaroo onstage with him at a recent show was a great idea, but some animal-rights activists think otherwise. The group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says that Javon Stacks, the owner of the kangaroo, and Epps placed the animal in harm’s way, and it wants the feds to step in.
“Traumatic situations can be fatal to kangaroos who are not hardy animals, and this individual was subjected to a great deal of stress by being dragged in front of a boisterous crowd and forced to ‘dance,’” PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter. “PETA hopes the U.S. Department of Agriculture will conduct an immediate investigation and that the backlash over this stunt will remind all comedians that there’s nothing funny about cruelty to animals.”
The Department of Agriculture actually looked into the video of Epps’ show and stated that the Animal Welfare Act requires all handlers to be “in control of the animal at all times.” And many will say, after looking at the video, that Stacks was not in control.
On Monday, Epps took to his Instagram account to apologize for “kangaroo-gate” and stated he would donate money to a kangaroo organization.