Monkey Handler Reprimanded by USDA for Promo with James Charles, Jeffree Star

Jeffree Star, James Charles, Austin McBroom and other influencers got way too close with a couple of monkeys — at least according to federal authorities, who’ve reprimanded the animals’ handler for allowing it.

According to a USDA report, obtained by TMZ, Kevin Keith used a baboon and a capuchin monkey in several social media promo vids back in November 2020 — but a government inspector says Keith made a major mistake by failing to “adequately maintain direct control of the animals” while they posed with social media celebs.

We’re told the primates were used as part of a campaign with the clothing company, Bananas Monkey, that involved delivering a box of apparel to the celebs … while obviously creating quite the photo op.

However, after the promo event, we’re told PETA filed a complaint asking the USDA to investigate Keith for possible violations of the Animal Welfare Act … arguing it was dangerous — to the public and the animals — for him to not have control of the monkeys in case they became aggressive.

According to the Dept. of Agriculture’s report … it reviewed the videos in which the monkeys are seen shaking hands and sitting on the shoulders of the celebs — without Keith keeping a watchful eye or holding onto their leashes.

The USDA ended up issuing Keith a stern warning and has instructed him to correct his behavior going forward. We’ve reached out to him … no word back so far.

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