Grammys host James Corden criticised for giving puppies to award losers

29 January 2018, 13:07

Animal charities have criticised Grammys host James Corden for giving away puppies during the star-studded awards show.

The British comedian handed out the pets as a consolation prize to nominees who missed out on the best comedy album prize during Sunday’s event.

"I should say to all the nominees who are not going home with a Grammy, I don't want anyone to go home upset tonight," Corden said.

"The good news is nobody goes home empty-handed because all night we'll be handing out consolation puppies.

"So if you didn’t get a Grammy, you get a puppy."

Jerry Seinfeld, Sarah Silverman and Jim Gaffigan were then handed the dogs after losing out to Dave Chappelle for the award.

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The stunt prompted criticism from the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and charities Peta and the Animal Welfare Foundation, which said it promoted the "wrong message".

John Fishwick, president of the BVA, told Sky News: "We live in a click-and-collect culture that encourages impulse buying and even if the puppies were handed back, the Grammys' stunt perpetuates this notion.

"Puppies are living beings, not trophies or toys.

"Dog ownership is a life-changing commitment, not something that should simply be done on a whim."

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) founder Ingrid Newkirk told Sky News: "It's beyond belief that Grammy organisers are so out of touch with the issues of the day that they failed to grasp what is now commonly understood; that dogs are intelligent, complex animals - not toys, props, or prizes.

"While the stress of being passed around under bright lights by strangers may have been upsetting for these young pups, using them as prizes for runners-up sent a dangerous message to viewers that dogs aren't the family members for life that they should be."

The Animal Welfare Foundation said: "Shame on the #GRAMMYS and @JKCorden for handing out puppies as if they were nothing more than inanimate objects."

A spokeswoman for the Animal Welfare Foundation told Sky News: "We've been working with the British Veterinary Association to try to educate people about how to buy pets responsibly.

"When you take on a pet, you need to be aware it’s a big responsibility. This gives out completely the wrong message.

"It’s also not the right environment for animals."

Sky News has contacted the Recording Academy for comment.