Tiger King’s Joe Exotic is seeking a presidential pardon, don’t let 45 watch it

Mild spoilers for Tiger King, but you can still watch it and be astonished
Like the rest of the US, I’m eating a lot and watching TV. I’ve tried to fill up my days with video chats and this has worked somewhat in that I have more meetings now than ever (I have three scheduled today) but there’s much more time. Also like everyone else, I started watching Tiger King this week. It’s the number one show on Netflix, which is really something now. Watching that show is like eating an entire DiGiorno rising crust pizza. You can’t help yourself, but you feel disgusted afterwards. I have two episodes to go. No spoilers for the ending please (although we know what happens as it’s previewed in the trailer and throughout the show). The series has so many twists and turns and everything is so surreal and extreme. Kudos to the filmmakers, who picked the craziest sh-t and edited it to make an entertaining ride unlike any documentary I’ve ever seen before. They got so many interviews with colorful characters and so many candid moments on camera. The main subject, Joe Exotic, gives interviews from prison which are spliced throughout, previewing his ultimate fate. According to filmmakers he’s thrilled with his newfound fame despite how ridiculous he looks and how incriminating the footage is. He’s also asking for tens of millions in government restitution along with a presidential pardon.

Joe Exotic… who is serving a 22-year prison sentence — is demanding a combined $94 million from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, his former business partner Jeff Lowe and several former colleagues said.

The polygamist issued a call for a pardon from Trump and announced his lawsuit in March 19 on his Facebook page.

“This lawsuit has been filed in the name of Justice, The Trump Administration must be made aware of the Overreach, perjury, abuse of power and the failure to uphold the Oath of their position which is truth and Justice for all,” the gun-toting Oklahoma native wrote in the post.

A jury convicted Maldonado-Passage last year on 21 counts, which included euthanizing five tigers and hiring someone to kill his arch nemesis — Big Cat Rescue founder and CEO Carole Baskin. – From The NY Post

Filmmaker Eric Goode on how Joe Exotic is taking this
“Interestingly enough, the person that received it the best is Joe, who called me from prison. He was just ecstatic that he was famous, that the guards were praising him as a rock star, and the fact that his name and image is in lights in Time Square on Sunset Boulevard, He’s tickled to death. Sometimes it’s unexpected who is going to love the attention. I think for now, he’s riding that wave.” – From IndieWire

[From The NY Post and IndieWire]

Here’s the mild spoilery part. At one point Joe runs for governor and launches a half-assed bid for president. He reminds me so much of Trump in that his entire platform is based on his showman personality and image, with so little understanding of the issues. I truly believe that if Trump watches even ten minutes of this show he will fall for this guy’s bullsh-t and issue a pardon. He’ll probably also try to reverse the two federal laws protecting wildlife which Exotic was convicted of violating. You know I’m right! He’ll f’ing pose with baby tigers too, you know it.

Once I watch the rest of this show I’ll cover some other stories about it because there just so much material here. It’s also highly likely there will be a sequel.

Holy sh-t I just checked out Joe Exotic’s Facebook and he has this Change.org petition asking Trump to pardon him. Look at the header photo below. His approach is perfect, which is scary but simple. All you have to do is kiss dear leader’s ass if you want something from him.


photos credit: Facebook and Netflix

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57 Responses to “Tiger King’s Joe Exotic is seeking a presidential pardon, don’t let 45 watch it”

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  1. Nev says:

    What a ride this show is. Just wow.

  2. Becks1 says:

    We finished it last night and just wow. So much crazy.

    • Lua says:

      Now watch The Jinx. My jaw dropped open at the ending. That said. Everyone in this series is garbage except the two employees that lost appendages working there and his campaign manager. The animals are the only ones I have compassion for

  3. Rose says:

    I started watching but just had to stop…not my cup of tea. However, I highly recommend Unorthodox also on Netflix. Its inspired by a true story of a woman who escapes from an orthodox jewish community in Brooklyn. So, intense, almost like a spy thriller, but balanced by her challenge to learn who she is outside of this oppressive community. I’m transfixed.

    • Scollins says:

      I’m in. Thx.

    • Pineapple says:

      Rose that sounds so great. I will watch Unorthodox as well. Thanks!

      I will also watch The Tiger King …someone on Twitter wrote:
      “Me: Just give me one normal person, just one normal person.”

      Tiger King: Nope”

      It was then that I decided I had to watch. XO

    • SaraR. says:

      I agree, Unortodox is excellent. I was mesmerized by the lead actress.
      I can also recommend Caliphate, a really good Swedish show about teen girls lured into ISIS, and Babylon Berlin – just fantastic, beautifuly produced and acted German thriller set in 1929 Weimar Republic Berlin.

    • Victoria says:

      Yes @rose that Unorthodox series was great!! I watched tiger king and unorthodox yesterday and was blown away by both for different reasons. Watch it!

  4. Chaine says:

    The show is good but for a more nuanced view of the whole saga, listen to the podcast from Over My Dead Body, which came out last year.

  5. NIKKI says:

    Michael K of Dlisted used to write about him all the time a few years ago, and all the surrounding characters. I’m surprised it took this long for them to make a show about this.

  6. Natal says:

    I do wish the documentary had gone into the unhinged misogyny against Carol Baskin and how all the men involved are basically sexually predators (doc antle runs a legit cult, joe plied his “husbands” full of drugs) but it was quite something nonetheless.

    • laura says:

      I agree! I mean I don’t think she is the animal saviour that she professes to be, but it’s very unnerving the level of hate against her in the show, and off actually. Maybe she killed her husband, maybe she didn’t…, but she is far from the worst person on it and yet she seems to get the most hatred.

  7. Noodle says:

    I’ve decided to start every department meeting on Zoom with “Hey there all you cats and kittens!”

  8. ChillyWilly says:

    This looks so entertaining to me but I can’t handle anything that involves the mistreatment of animals so I’m probably not going to watch.

    • Noodle says:

      Most of the mistreatment is implied and not shown, but yeah, it’s pretty heinous what they did to a lot of the animals.

    • AppleTartin says:

      To be fair Joe does take good care of his animals and no animal abuse is shown on the show. By any of the main characters. Joe, “Dr. Antle or Carole Baskin. The issues are did he set up a murder for hire for Carole Baskin (probably not) but hated her with a passion may have said some stupid stuff. The crazy lives of these people and their obsession with living with exotic animals and bond they have with them. They think they are protecting them but are they really?

      People want to cuddle cubs and that is where the profit is. After they are full grown they are just a bill to the zoo owners. NOTHING is shown but the question is are they putting the tigers down if they have no profit value. It’s up to you to decide. I would love a law that cubs cannot be handled by humans for profit on any level. Take the wallet aspect away you will see a change.

      • Mimmy says:

        I disagree that Joe took good care of the animals.
        The cubs were clearly in distress when paraded in front of people. Plus, those magnificent animals should not be confined in cages. Keeping and breeding wild animals should be regulated by law. It’s heartbreaking.

      • Noodle says:

        They do imply that Doc is euthanizing the cats after they aren’t profitable anymore, and cremating their bodies. There are very few reasons to have a crematorium on a property. Also, at the end when Joe is talking about the chimps and how he kept them in separate boxes for a decade, he seems to realize that he didn’t care for them as he should have. He does seem to have legitimate love for the cats, but the drug abuse, promise of riches, and then drama, probably shifted his focus away what was in their best interest.

      • Notsoanonymous says:

        I disagree as well. Did you not recall when he was getting drug by the cat and then screamed at her that she was a f-king b and he was gonna put a bullet between her eyes?


      • Becks1 says:

        Joe definitely did not take good care of the cats. I think he might have started off with good intentions, and I think he still “loved” the cats, but their living conditions alone were pretty bad, not even getting into any abuse or euthanizing.

        That said – ChillyWilly – there is no real mistreatment shown, but its implied.

      • Original Jenns says:

        Joe ripped newborn tigers away from their mother while she was still birthing, stuck them in a crib and then complained that they cried all night. You don’t think that’s the worst he’s doing, right? He’s an animal abuser who uses them for his own comfort.

      • Katherine says:

        Yeah um what were you watching? Joe doesn’t take good care of those animals at all??? I’m shocked it could be interpreted any other way!

    • laura-j says:

      Three words: Old Walmart Meat

      • AppleTartin says:

        ok, i am so embarassed but somehow I skipped the last 2 episodeds of the series when everything is falling apart. The animals did suffer under him and he was selling cubs to anyone that would buy them at the end.

        I think he did start out with good intentions until it became out his ego and not the care of the cats.

        also, check out Robert Moor on twitter he had spend time with Joe and has done a podcast and his article on Joe will be the basis of the Kate Mckinnon series about Carole Baskin.

        @Larua J Walmart no longer donates meat to the GW Zoo. From all accounts the zoo isn’t doing well and this is before the virus hit. I do hope people boycott it and let the animals be taken in by anyone but Carole Baskin and Doc Antle. And how there isn’t a law yet banning breeding for cub cuddles for profit is beyond me.

  9. Scollins says:

    Celebitchy description is so accurate. I watched in one sitting a couple of dats ago and am still shaking my head or chuckling..

  10. GG says:

    I’ve watched it twice all the way through and there’s SO much to unpack here I couldn’t even begin. The bottom line is that every major character is a predator. Doc Antle and his predatory polyamory, Joe Exotic’s use of Crystal Meth to control husband after husband, Jeff Lowe and his fiancé Lauren conning the zoo our from under Joe Exotic, Carole Baskin the black widow… I just can’t get over the fact that 19% of the people of Oklahoma voted for Joe Exotic for Governor.

    • Noodle says:

      I think the most sympathetic character is the drug kingpin. Or Saff (the one who got her arm ripped off). You know, nevermind. All of them are pretty hatable.

      • Celebitchy says:

        Saff goes by he/him pronouns, which I only know because Pajiba covered it today. I liked Saff the best too also I felt so bad for Travis’s mom.

      • Noodle says:

        I was not aware of Saff’s pronouns. Thank you for the correction. The system won’t let me edit – I would edit if I could!

        I forgot about Travis’s mom. And the fact that Joe invited her, and her alone, to his wedding, to show his followers she was okay with him remarrying. Ugh. I also forgot about the Office Manager who legitimately probably has PTSD from seeing Travis shoot himself.

      • Celebitchy says:

        You are sweet noodle. They didn’t use Saff’s pronouns in the show and you couldn’t have known. That was terrible about Travis’s mom! Also I kind of wish they didn’t show the campaign/office manager’s reaction to that.

      • Original Jenns says:

        I was so so sad about Travis and his mother, and the trauma the campaign manager went through. Just so terrible and tragic. Just sad! If only he hadn’t been taken in by a groomer.

      • Corrine Engelgau says:

        Yasss!!! Mario seemed legit AF. I liked Mario and his wife a lot. He seemed to actually care about his animals, aside from the snakes he put cocaine in, ha. I really liked Saff too– But for real, all exotic animal people are batsh*t, is what I learned from Tiger King.

    • Erin says:

      There was actually some very selective editing there. What happened is he received 19% of the vote in the initial primary of the libertarian party, not the statewide election.

  11. Texas says:

    That show was as surreal as everything that is happening now. No wonder it is #1. Just crazy. Who knew that big cat people were so nuts??

  12. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I just tried getting through the first episode. Can’t do it. That snow leopard in the van? Omg.

  13. stinky says:

    Carol killed her husband!! hello . …?

    • Celebitchy says:

      I was going to do a story on her Monday maybe. There’s so much to unpack with this show!

    • H says:

      What? I lived down the road from Big Cat in Tampa and put in an application to volunteer. I wound up moving so never did it. Crazy.

    • Lizzie says:

      Carol is the smartest for sure. She figured out rebranding as a rescue and how to use social media was the key to making big money.

      Joes music videos, omg.

  14. David says:

    Confession: I interviewed 2x each at Big Cat Rescue and TIGERS in 2000. I was so weirded out and was like this shit is a cult! My dad lives about a mile from TIGERS and I’ve been shooed away with my picket banners a few times.
    It’s the least I can do. I hate seeing Kevin ‘mystical doctor’ riding around on poor Bubbles the elephant.
    Carole sucks just as much. They all suck and I’m just grateful I saw the crazy. Can only stomach one episode at a time because I loathe all of these jerks.
    These places are like the animal version of Get Out and they’re ALL despicable.

    • Original Jenns says:

      100 percent, how I feel. They are all terrible in their own ways. Poor animals.

      • Daivd says:

        Band together with me Jenn. I get the banners for free!

      • AppleTartin says:

        Carole doesn’t breed or cross breed for cubs to pay for cuddle time. She doesn’t put them in shows. These idiots that buy cubs and then don’t realize they become huge and cost $10,000 a year to feed and want to dump them off. You can’t put them back in the wild now they won’t survive. She is the least worst of them. But in the end she keeps big cats privately since she is obsessed with them and calls it a rescue.

  15. Bucky Bieber says:

    Ozark is back. I watched the first two episodes last night. In one scene Laura Linney’s character said ‘There’s an old saying in politics. Never let a good crisis go to waste’ 😳

    • Daivd says:

      Ah, Ozark. Lady Snell is such a deranged peach. The Snells and all of these people are made for each other. What does she say in that 1st episode? Something about a new mom being hopped up on breast milk hormones?!

  16. Dee Kay says:

    Tiger King taught me there is a huge overlap between: a) narcissism, b) big cat fandom, c) cults, d) drugs, e) guns and other forms of violence like setting fires. And I definitely think there was a lot of animal abuse, especially in Joe Exotic’s zoo and Doc Antle’s zoo. And people abuse!!!!

  17. Milkweed says:

    Tiger King is a fucking roller coaster! I will never wonder how Trump got elected ever again.

  18. Summer says:

    There is something very wrong with 5,000-10,000 tigers being kept in captivity and only 4,000 in the wild. Something must be done.

  19. LaUnicaAngelina says:

    We just started it tonight and finished 2 episodes. It’s definitely wild!

  20. Trish-a says:

    If anything good comes out of this it will be a wake up call to people to stop paying and taking pictures of the baby lions and tigers. If you see a friend on social media, inform them. Hell shame them. I have and will continue to.

  21. JillyBean says:

    And Shawn majumdar is in the episode where he runs for politics…. he was doing a bit bit the Canadian comedy show – this hour has 22 minutes!

  22. Kkat says:

    It can’t be said enough, Carole killed her husband