PETA called for an investigation into “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” for allowing celebrities to handle animals on the show.
The animal rights organization has requested that the New York City Health Department investigate after Fallon hired Grant Kemmerer of Wild World of Animals for occasional segments, according to a report published Tuesday by Page Six.
PETA specifically called out the show for allowing actors Kate Beckinsale and Jacob Anderson to touch animals during the show. In Beckinsale’s segment, she poked an African bullfrog while Anderson was put into a phone booth with Kemmerer, Fallon and a python.
The letter to the NYC Health Department also cited various segments that Steve Irwin’s son Robert Irwin appeared in where he handled animals such as a mandrill, a millipede, a miniature horse and an alligator. (RELATED: Seafood Restaurant Releases ‘PETA Tears’ Beer After Feud With The Organization)
PETA claimed Kemmerer never had permission to allow the celebrities or Fallon to handle the animals, although Kemmerer said the comedy show doesn’t count as the public.
“Fallon or Robert Irwin are not the public,” Kemmerer told Page Six. “It was deemed even people in the audience are not looked at as the public, in the eyes of the USDA, because they’re paying for an entertainment show and expect this type of show…You’re not going to pull out a random animal and hope it goes OK.”
BREAKING: PETA is calling for an investigation into animal exhibitor Grant Kemmerer—who regularly supplies animals for segments on @FallonTonight & other talk shows—for apparently violating the terms of his permits.
— PETA (@peta) August 6, 2019
PETA insisted that animals suffer when they are “exposed to the chaos” of TV.
“Animals suffer every time they’re exposed to the chaos of a television set and passed around like props,” PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange said in a statement. “PETA is calling on authorities to throw the book at this hack for brazenly violating—on camera—the clear conditions of his exhibitor permits.”
The NYC Health Department confirmed they are investigating the claims and allegations against “The Tonight Show.”