The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals complained to New York City officials about “The Tonight Show” on Tuesday, saying animals appearing on Jimmy Fallon’s late-night program are improperly touched, Page Six reported.
What did PETA have to say?
PETA noted that various segments with Grant Kemmerer of Wild World of Animals included an actress poking a African bullfrog and a python stuffed in a phone booth with Fallon and Kemmerer, the outlet said.
The animal rights organization’s letter also cited a segment featuring Robert Irwin — son of the late Steve Irwin — handling an alligator, a millipede, a miniature horse, and a mandrill, Page Six reported.
PETA’s letter said Kemmerer didn’t have permission to let anyone other than himself and his employees touch the wildlife; but Kemmerer told the outlet his involvement creates an exception.
“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.”
Kemmerer added to the outlet that “we are alleviating any potential risk, and for Jimmy Fallon, he’s not going into this unknowing. He is a participating person in this. They’re having Robert on there to bring the animals.”
“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 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 wants Kemmerer banned from obtaining future permits, “The Tonight Show” to cut ties with him — and for the program to stop using animals.
What did the health department and ‘The Tonight Show’ have to say?
Page Six said the Department of Health confirmed Tuesday it’s reviewing PETA’s letter and its allegations — and that a representative for the “The Tonight Show” declined to comment.
Here’s a clip featuring Irwin and Fallon:
Robert Irwin and Jimmy Fallon Bottle Feed a Baby Miniature Horse