Carole Baskin, the American big-cat rights activist, CEO of Big Cat Rescue and star of Netflix mini-series Tiger King has explained how she feels “betrayed” by the streaming giant.
Baskin shot to fame overnight following the release of Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, a hit show which detailed the troubled world of big-cat owners in the United States. The series, which explored the interconnected community of big cat conservationists, focused heavily on the rivaly of Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin which centred around a constantly evolving plotline of crime, corruption and more.
Across eight extremely entertaining episodes, Tiger King continues to offer up a new twist which focused heavily on the relationship between Baskin and Exotic, a situation which left many fans of the show questioning both their motives. “I felt betrayed by them,” Baskin admits in a new interview with Fox News. “We worked with the producers for five years. When they came to us they said what they were working on was ‘Blackfish’ for big cats. ‘Blackfish’ showed just a horrible, horrible life for dolphins and whales being kept in these concrete pools.”
She added: “After it, the whole industry of whale shows and stealing whales and putting them in aquariums came to a halt. To do the same for big cats, we thought [a documentary] exposing how the cub petting is so cruel would be great.”
“We were all on board,” Baskin continued. “In fact, they said the name of their show was going to be ‘Stolen Wildlife’ and they said Joe would be in it but in five minutes of it.”
Baskin, 59, has claimed that Netflix blind-sighted her and said that producers failed the mention the plans to pit her against Joe Exotic. Baskin claims their rivalry was non-existent prior to the show and, when agreeing to work on the series, she believed it would focus predominantly on animal cruelty.
“They totally lied to us about what their end product was going to be,” she said. “The whole premise behind [the show] was that it was a feud. For a feud, you have to have two people that are feuding. I’ve never had a conversation with Joe. I’ve never even spoken to him.”
Now, the reality remains that Joe Exotic is seeing out his prison sentence of 22 years for his role in a murder-for-hire plan to kill Baskin. “What I do and what he hated for me for is I go after all of the animal exploiters that are exploiting big cats,” she said on the situation. “He was one of many of them who have threatened to kill me. It’s just he’s the one they were finally able to catch and put behind bars. But it was never personal for me. I never said anything personal against Joe.”
“I think they had to paint me into this kind of Karen figure that just drove him mad and that’s how this whole thing happened,” she added.