The wacky media-seeking animal rights group have taken out their knives again. This time their target is The Tonight Show.
PETA has asked the New York City health department to investigate the late night talk show for improperly allowing celebrities to play with animals on the broadcasts, according to an article in Page Six.
“The animal rights organization is up in arms after NBC hired Grant Kemmerer of Wild World of Animals for various segments that involved celebrities touching animals, including having “The Widow” actress poke an African bullfrog,” said the article.
The PETA letter cited several instances of “animal abuse” including a segment in which Robert Irwin, the son of the late Steve Irwin, handles an alligator, a millipede, a miniature horse and a mandrill on separate occasions.
PETA claims Kemmerer didn’t have permission to let anyone other than himself and his employees touch the wildlife. Kemmerer claimed that his involvement with The Tonight Show creates an exeption. “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.
“Animals suffer every time they’re exposed to the chaos of a television set and passed around like props,” said PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange in a statement to Page Six. “PETA is calling on authorities to throw the book at this hack for brazenly violating—on camera—the clear conditions of his exhibitor permits.”
PETA is asking that Kemmerer be banned from obtaining future permits and calling for “The Tonight Show” to cut ties with him, as well as cease all use of animals on the nightly show.
The Department of Health confirmed that it’s reviewing PETA’s letter and its allegations.
Just one question – what would Johnny Carson and Jim Fowler say?