According to The Hollywood Reporter, comedian Mike Epps is facing criticism from animal rights groups like PETA for bringing a “chained” kangaroo on stage during a recent show in Detroit. It’s unclear what the purpose of the stunt was, but apparently a trainer brought the animal out of a cage and led it around on a leash while Epps and other people on the stage danced around. As this went on, the kangaroo struggled to get free and then “appeared to take a punch at Epps,” who jumped back to avoid it. You can see a quick video of this happening below.
It’s worth noting that PETA is often wildly off-base when it comes to the things it takes issue with, but in a statement, the organization says that “traumatic situations” like this can be fatal to kangaroos, as they are “not hardy animals.” PETA also says it wants the U.S. Department Of Agriculture to “conduct an immediate investigation” in this event, and it hopes the backlash reminds comedians that “there’s nothing funny about cruelty to animals.”
As reported by TMZ, the kangaroo comes from a “traveling exotic zoo,” and in a now-deleted Instagram post, Epps claimed that the handlers were licensed and that the kangaroo was treated well.