PETA has no warm, fuzzy feelings when it comes to Fox’s new sitcom Animal Control or its leading man Joel McHale.
On Friday, the animal rights group released a scathing statement claiming the series allegedly exploited animals by featuring live ostriches, dogs, and a ferret in its first episode, which aired Thursday. It was also noted that the show teased that a bear would make an appearance in a forthcoming episode.
“Animal Control is a sickening soup of animal exploitation that has PETA questioning whether Joel McHale’s been living under a rock,” said PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Welfare Debbie Metzler. “He either doesn’t know or doesn’t care that it’s 2023 and that CGI , VFX, and other humane forms of technology should be used, instead of dragging abused animals onto TV and film sets.”
Serguei Bachlakov/FOX Joel McHale in ‘Animal Control’
Metzler added, “Read the room, Joel McFail: Animals aren’t the key to your comeback, and neither is this sad show.”
Representatives for McHale and Fox did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.
This isn’t the first time PETA has publicly rebuked the series — which also stars Vella Lovell, Ravi Patel, Michael Rowland, and Grace Palmer — for its use of animals on set. The organization slammed Animal Control for featuring an actual cougar in its Super Bowl commercial on Monday.
In a statement on their website, PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said, “While forward-thinking advertisers relied on modern approaches like computer-generated imagery or human talent for their coveted Super Bowl slot, Joel McFail shamelessly cornered the market on animal mistreatment. “
The Fox series, which is also executive-produced by McHale, centers around a team of animal-control officers who are called to help sort out various animal hijinks, which range from bunnies on drugs to people being chased by ostriches.
“It’s a workplace comedy,” Palmer, who plays Victoria, explained in a first look. “It’s like a motley crew in the office who are all crack-up characters, and we deal with animals.”
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