Mike Epps is at the center of controversy after bringing a kangaroo onstage with him during a recent show (video below). The animal was described as distressed and social media lit up complaining.
The "Hangover" actor performed a comedy show in Detroit Friday for his Festival of Laughs tour that included an appearance by a leashed kangaroo.
Actor Mike Epps speaks on stage during "Uncle Buck" event during aTVfest 2016 presented by SCAD on February 7, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.
"Yeh look how nice Iam 2 him!"
And far be it for us to anthropomorphize an animal, but the kangaroo didn't seem too happy about it. Videos posted to Twitter show an animal that appears to be frightened, held in a bear hug while Epps tugs on its leash as music blares. He told MLive.com that it's part of a traveling exotic zoo and he has the proper state and federal licenses.
After the incident went viral on social media over the weekend, some accused Epps of animal cruelty. Despite the backlash, Stacks said the animal wasn't harmed and the harness he used was legal and preferable to a collar which could hurt the animal.
He posted on Instagram late Sunday that he wants to "sincerely apologize to everybody".
However, a person does not need a license to work with animals in a zoo but a business must have a USDA license to be open to guests and exhibit animals, according to a spokesperson for the Detroit Zoological Society.
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".