Director Behind Tiger King Documentary Responds To Carole Baskin’s Backlash
Anyone who's seen Netflix's wild seven-part docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness will know that, while Joe Exotic is arguably the star of the show, he's not the only one with an interesting tale to tell - far from it.
Carole Baskin, who runs Big Cat Rescue in Florida, is introduced to us as one of Joe's biggest rivals. But as the story unfolds, there are also various allegations made against her by several people within the documentary, including that she killed her husband Don Lewis, who mysteriously disappeared without a trace back in the late 90s.
After the documentary was added to Netflix earlier this month, Baskin spoke out to say that she was 'disappointed' by the 'salacious lies' reported in the film, writing a lengthy post on her Big Cat blog.
Now Eric Goode, who co-directed the documentary with Rebecca Chaiklin, has responded to Baskin's comments, arguing that everything portrayed was 'honest' to those involved.
Speaking to LADbible, Goode said: "I've let people in the documentary speak for themselves. It's a crazy story and I think that it is as accurate as we can portray it, and that we were always honest to our subjects.
"Carole of course talked about her background, talked about her childhood, talked about many things that had nothing to do with the advocacy of cats, and so she spoke for herself."
It would seem Joe Exotic, on the other hand, is much happier with his portrayal in Tiger King, having phoned the two directors from jail to give them his feedback.
Goode continued: "Joe has called up Rebecca and I from jail since the airing of the documentary and, you know, he has lived his entire life just to be famous and so to finally realise this fame is just... He's tickled pink.
"Even though he's behind bars it's really interesting to see Joe's response - it's incredible, and very surprising.
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"He's absolutely thrilled."
While Joe may be made up with the Netflix doc, Goode admitted he has 'mixed feelings' about the series' star.
He said: "Look, I have empathy for Joe and there are many qualities that I found fascinating and endearing about Joe. But at the same time Joe did horrific things, and he was one of those people that would try to tell you what you wanted to hear.
"He's very manipulative - and smart in many ways - but in the end you know all of these people, including Carole, created their own little world within a world. Most of them are living outside of mainstream America.
"In Joe's case, he really created his own world and played by his own rules, and in the end he was his own worst enemy."
On whether he felt the documentary had any 'good guys', Goode - a long-time animal lover and conservationist - seemed pretty adamant that the one thing the zoo owners' had in common was problematic.
He said: "People should not be exploiting these incredible animals for monetary gain.
"I do not see any redeeming aspects of what they're doing. They're exploiting these animals, there's a lot of suffering and cruelty taking place and it's quite a selfish pursuit.
"I think that ultimately if you want to save tigers, the right solution is to save tigers in the wild."
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is available to watch now on Netflix.
Featured Image Credit: Netflix