Bernadette Peters takes her love for animals very seriously.
The three-time Tony-winning Broadway star — who is known for leading productions of “Sunday in the Park with George,” "Song and Dance” and "Annie Get Your Gun" — was in New York City’s Shubert Alley on Saturday, July 10 for her 24th annual Broadway Barks pet adoption event.
Peters, who helped found the charity behind the initiative in 1998 with Mary Tyler Moore, reacted to protesters who crashed her event.
In a video posted on Twitter, the 74-year-old actor called out the protesters for interrupting her while she was giving a speech on stage.
“Excuse me! You are stopping all the animals here from having a chance to be adopted, “ she told them as the crowd cheered.
She asked, “Is that not what you want?” before continuing with her remarks.
The social media user who shared the clip wrote in the caption, “How do we get Bernadette a Tony for fighting protesters at Broadway Barks?”
According to the Animal Rights News Twitter account, activists behind the website theirturn.net, the protesters were speaking out against the Humane Society of New York. (It's unclear how or if the Humane Society is involved with Peters' organization at all.)
As the clip circulated on social media, many applauded how Peters handled the heckling. One person seemed to agree with the original post and commented, “Literally give Bernadette another Tony for just existing.”
When another inquired what the protest was about, writer Jill Twiss jokingly replied, “Women who still have perfect skin even though they are somehow 74 years old.”
“Imagine pissing off Bernadette Peters, of all people,” one Twitter user wrote.
Many were confused about why the protesters would speak out at Peters’ event considering her history with Broadway Barks and her support of animal rights.
“What are they even protesting like Bernadette is one of the biggest animal activists I-,” one person wondered.
A few social media users also compared the moment to fellow Broadway legend Patti LuPone challenging theatergoers in May who refused to follow the mask policy.
“An angry Bernadette Peters is so much scarier than an angry Patti LuPone,” one person said.
Aside from the minor interruption, Broadway Barks — and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS which produces the event each year — completed its first in-person “adopt-a-thon” since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Actors like Sutton Foster — who co-hosted the event — and Hugh Jackman were also in attendance to support Peters’ efforts to help dogs and cats find a permanent home, according to CBS News New York.
“Broadway Barks has assisted in placing thousands of pets in loving homes with the help of volunteers and celebrities alike,” the charity’s website says. “As Broadway Barks looks to the future, it will continue the focus on shelter animals here and across the country while shining a broader light on responsible pet ownership, the importance of spay neutering, pet identification and the impact of pets in our lives.”