James Cromwell arrested at PETA protest

Soraya Roberts
The Juice

James Cromwell tried to stop what he considers a real American horror story last week.

The 73-year-old "American Horror Story" star was arrested on Feb. 7 in connection to disorderly conduct after joining forces with PETA to protest research on cats at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Cromwell's newly released mug shot shows him looking a lot more rough and tumble than usual. The Oscar nominee sports a plaid shirt, a shaved head, and a goatee, a look he adopted for his recent role as Nazi Dr. Arthur Arden in "AHS: Asylum."

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The septuagenarian is best known as kindly flat-capped farmer Arthur Hoggett in the 1995 comedy "Babe," for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. However, he is also famous for playing the smooth, but bent, top cop Dudley Smith in 1997's "L.A. Confidential," as well as Jack Bauer's unfatherly father, Phillip, in "24."

PETA uploaded a video of Cromwell's protest to YouTube, which shows the actor reportedly crashing a Board of Regents meeting on Thursday at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He can be seen entering the room with PETA spokesman Jeremy Beckham (according to TMZ) and holding up a sign that reportedly showed a picture of a cat in the school labs with a metal implant in its head.

"Regents are looking the other way while UW Madison lies to the public about abusing cats and squandering tax payers' money on cruel and wasteful experiments," Cromwell says in the video. "As many as 30 cats a year at UW have had holes drilled into their skulls, metal coils implanted into their eyes. They are deafened, starved for days at a time, and then decapitated. This is not science! This is torture, and it is criminal! Shame on you!"

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During Cromwell's speech, security guards can be seen entering the room, and TMZ reports that the actor was taken out of the room in handcuffs. A rep confirmed to the Hollywood Reporter that the actor was then taken into custody.

According to PETA, the animal experiments were designed to help the deaf but have been unsuccessful. However, after the protest, the director of the UW-Madison Research Animal Resources Center released a statement claiming PETA "distorted" their research, which has allegedly been regulated by the USDA and "has very real benefits for people who are deaf."