PETA Pans ‘Animal Control’ Premiere: Wild Animals Aren’t the Key to Your Comeback, Joel!

For Immediate Release:
February 17, 2023

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Los Angeles – Below, please find a statement from PETA Foundation Director of Captive Animal Welfare Debbie Metzler in response to Joel McHale’s new show, Animal Control, which featured live ostriches, dogs, and a ferret and—despite the recent passage of the Big Cat Public Safety Act—used a cougar in its Super Bowl ad. The show also teased an upcoming episode with a real bear.

Animal Control is a sickening soup of animal exploitation that has PETA questioning whether Joel McHale’s been living under a rock. 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. Read the room, Joel McFail: Animals aren’t the key to your comeback, and neither is this sad show.

PETA’s undercover investigations and law-enforcement probes into animal suppliers for the film and TV industries have documented that animals are whipped and kept in deplorable conditions. They are typically separated from their mothers prematurely, and handlers use violent training techniques behind the scenes to force unwilling wild animals to perform on cue. Many big cats and other animals end up discarded at seedy roadside zoos and other substandard facilities, where they may suffer for years without proper food or veterinary care. Witness Tiger King.

PETA urges anyone who sees animals being used for film or television productions to report it at or call the whistleblower hotline at 323-210-2233.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind