Baskin’s Reaction to Tiger King
The success of Tiger King came as a surprise for Baskin. The producers of the show had led Baskin to believe that Tiger King would be similar to the Blackfish documentary.
Blackfish exposed the mistreatment of orcas and dolphins at SeaWorld, Baskin hoped that Stolen Wildlife (the original name of the show) would expose the mistreatment of big cats.
When the first trailers for Tiger King dropped, Baskin couldn’t get in touch with the producers for an explanation on the name change and why the show centered around Joe Exotic.
Baskin was appalled by the final product of Tiger King. With all the wackiness and falsities of the final product, Baskin thought that the show was building up to a climax that would out Exotic and others as “animal abusers” and discuss the larger problem of animal abuse.
Tiger King never reached this conclusion, where Baskin overall calls the show a “missed opportunity.” Unfortunately, following the premiere, Baskin received backlash and death threats for her portrayal in the show, mainly due to the show’s claims that she killed her husband.
“It’s just like going on trial before the entire world” describes Baskin. All of a sudden, her enemies (whom Baskin describes as “animal abusers” and “the bad guys”) were displaying her in a negative spotlight.
Does she regret partaking in Tiger King?
Despite all the controversy, Baskin would do it all over again. She says that “my philosophy is that everything, no matter how horrible it may be, is happening for a reason.”
Baskin sees the bright side of the situation, being happy that at least the series will reveal to audiences that big cats are facing cruel treatment.
Baskin does wish for people not to take Tiger King at face value because it is a television show. She encourages viewers to do research and “get out there and look with your own eyes and see what’s happening.”
To further emphasize this, Baskin has a page on her website to educate viewers on what actually took place.
The Status of the Federal Bill
Misconceptions about Baskin’s mission to rescue big cats appear at the end of Tiger King. Here, the show says that Baskin’s federal bill that will eliminate cub handling and private possession of big cats did not pass.
Baskin squashes this statement, saying that the bill is “making far more advancement than it’s ever made before.” Baskin revealed that she expects the bill to pass this year after reintroducing it to the house. The bill previously got a two-thirds vote of approval when first introduced.
“After a while, we figured out you can’t rescue your way out of this,” says Baskin. “The only thing you can do is try to change the laws.”
Get the scoop on Carole Baskin and all things big cats by checking out this week’s episode of The Sarah Scoop Podcast.