Mike Epps Hit With Animal Abuse Claim Over Kangaroo in Stand-Up Act
'The Hangover' star was criticized by the animal rights group for forcing a kangaroo on stage to "dance" in front of a noisy audience.
The Hangover actor Mike Epps has been slapped with an abuse claim by the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for bringing a chained kangaroo onto a Detroit stage during a stand-up comedy show on March 31.
PETA raised the alarm after fans in the Joe Louis Arena audience for the Festival of Laughs tour stop filmed and posted online the kangaroo being brought out of a cage by a trainer and led around the stage on a leash as it struggled to get free. At one point, the leashed kangaroo appeared to take a punch at Epps.
PETA said Epps including a local kangaroo in his stage act caused distress for the innocent animal as it was wrongfully paraded on stage.
"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 vp 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," she added.
Epps' credits include Starz's Survivor's Remorse and Resident Evil: Apocalypse. He's repped by CAA, Industry Entertainment and Morris Yorn.