Tiger King! Can We Feed This Shit To The Tigers Already?!

Hey, cool cats and kittens! Tiger King has a new mini-series called Joe Vs Carole, on Peacock, starring John Cameron Mitchell as Joe Exotic and Kate McKinnon as Carole Baskin! There are other spin-offs in the works too. At one point, there was even going to be a Tiger King movie starring Nicholas Cage as Joe Exotic! 

It’s clear that the show, Tiger King, has grown into a full-blown franchise over the years. If you’ve never watched it, you’ve probably heard of it! The star of the show, Joe Exotic, has almost become a household name. You can even get your hands on Tiger King merch now! Everything from Joe Exotic action figures to“Joe Exotic for President” wristbands.

 Oh God, help us…

Tiger King follows the adventures of Joe Exotic and his tiger enterprise, and his drama-filled feud with Carole Baskin. The series is full of murder plots, scandal, and is absolutely freaking wild! 

Sure, it’s entertaining on the surface…

Tiger King, focuses so much on the flamboyant lifestyle of Joe Exotic, his ridiculous singing career, failed relationships, and downright stupidity that the real troubling issues are pushed aside to make way for entertainment. The show portrays Joe Exotic as a misunderstood man growing up on the wrong side of the tracks who just can’t seem to get a break from the world against him… We almost feel sorry for him as we listen to his sad, weeping phone calls from prison. Remember everyone, he is locked up for a reason.

If you’re not aware of the awful truth, brace yourselves!

“The biggest victims in all of the Tiger King drama are the animals,” - Animal Handler at Joe’s zoo

Joe Exotic exploited endangered tigers and kept animals in terrible zoos for many years. You can read an account directly from the HSUS (Humane Society of the United States) and be warned, it is not pleasant. Joe Exotic is currently serving 21 years in prison after being convicted of 17 counts of serious animal abuse and two counts of murder for hire toward Carole Baskin. Other names featured in the series, such as Tim Stark and Jeff Lowe, have all been punished for breaking animal rights laws and have had their animal sanctuaries shut down.

Yet another member of the Tiger King cast, Doc Antle, also has a long rap sheet of accusations against him. Thankfully, the new show, The Doc Antle Story, attempts to address his troubling behavior.  

As a worker in Animal Welfare for 10 years, my blood boils just looking at the horrific actions of these people. I am even more unsettled knowing that they have any kind of celebrity status.

Joe Vs Carole

On the other side of the coin is Carole Baskin, the perceived voice of good on the show. Carole Baskin is Joe Exotic’s nemesis….Yep! The same Carole Baskin he tried to murder! Twice. Thankfully Carole is a little better for the animals and does seem to advocate for their wellbeing.

The new Peacock series, Joe Vs Carole (yet another spin-off in the franchise), is a retelling of the Tiger King drama from the POV of Carole Baskin. I hoped that this show would be an actual documentary, finally revealing the true story. No, it's a dramatized reenactment that still feels cheap and another way to stir up hype around the series to sell the name. Also, despite being the better end of the feud, Carole Baskin still feels shady as hell to me!

Apart from her ongoing feud with Joe Exotic, Carole Baskin is still caught up in a whole rumor mill that suspects her of murdering her husband, Don Lewis, grinding him up, and feeding him to a Tiger! They have not proven this rumor to be true, but Don Lewis has been missing since 1997 and was declared legally dead in 2002 because no one knows where the hell he is! 

Carole Baskin is also facing a lawsuit from her ex-husband's family in an attempt to force information from her over his disappearance. The case is still ongoing, with the FBI frustrated over Carole Baskins's refusal to cooperate

What the cat shit is wrong with these people?! 

Did she? Didn’t she?

I understand why shows like Tiger King are a guilty pleasure. Dumpster fires are enjoyable to watch, and I guess they make us feel better about ourselves that our lives aren’t as crazy as those on screen. Shows like this can be hilarious, and I have enjoyed my fair share. Unfortunately, TV doesn’t always show us what is really going on behind the scenes. Because of this, I feel that it’s important that we take a step back and look into the people we are giving exposure to and supporting. Especially when that exposure makes celebrities out of those whose actions have had serious consequences on other living things and people.

Perhaps instead of watching the dumpsters burn, we could just turn off some of the on-screen disasters and find something more wholesome for our head jelly.

Like all the fun, wholesome content here on CouchSoup! We’re awesome, and we don’t lock things in cages…. well, except our own Drew Lewis, but he deserves it!

What are your thoughts on Tiger King and its new spin-offs? Let us know in the comments below.