“The Hangover” actor Mike Epps came under fire after he brought a kangaroo on stage during a performance in Detroit.
Epps, 47, was at the Festival of Laughs comedy tour when an animal handler came on stage with a kangaroo on leash. Epps took hold of the leash while he posed with the distressed kangaroo for a photo. However, Skippy the kangaroo did not find it amusing and punched the actor in the face. Unaffected by the act, the handler, Javon Stacks, continued to steer the animal around on the stage to entertain the crowd.
The entire incident was captured on camera.
According to Stacks, Skippy is part of a traveling exotic zoo. The ‘roo was famous well before the incident and recently, Stacks was spotted walking the kangaroo on a leash in Detroit.
The video created a furor soon after it emerged online and angry fans called the act “animal cruelty.”
@TheRealMikeEpps Abusing animals is not comedy .— Maryann Mcgovern (@Jerseypassion) April 2, 2017
@TheRealMikeEpps BIG FAN Mike.. But the whole Kangaroo thing not cool ??— Nick Mezzanares ? (@nickseashepherd) April 2, 2017
Following the outrage, Epps posted an apology on his Instagram saying he didn’t mean to harm to the kangaroo.
Look I wanna sincerely apologize to everybody ,I don't own the kangaroo and did not mean any harm to the animal it got outta hand and Iam sorry !and like I said I will be donating money to this foundation save the kangaroos ! Sorry if I offedend anybody I love animals sense I was a kid I had dogs my whole life !!#imadeabadmistake I keep taking down my post because of the back lash Iam getting!! thank you for forgiveness !!
However, this is not the first time animal abuse on set has taken place. Recently, a dog was forced to swim in churning water on the set of “A Dog’s Purpose.” Hollywood filmmakers came under fire after on-set footage of the film went viral on social media.
In another shocking incident, a Chinese store owner punished a rat for stealing rice from his store. The rat was strung up by its limbs with a sign around his neck that read, “I won’t dare do this again.”
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Stefan Postles