Tiger King's Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin. Picture: Supplied
Tiger King's Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin. Picture: Supplied

Tiger King director slams major characters

Now that we've all binged Netflix's Tiger King and tried to make up our minds about the show's central characters, the director of the hit has given his verdict on his subjects.

While famous fan Cardi B has said she thinks Joe Exotic - the gun-toting tiger breeder who's currently serving 22 years for murder-for-hire and violations of the Endangered Species Act - should be freed from prison, co-director Eric Goode told Page Six, "I think Joe was a bad guy, (but) he's a human being and there are parts of Joe I empathise with."

He also suggested Carole Baskin - Joe's arch rival - has questionable integrity, despite calling herself a big cat rescuer.

While Goode said he doesn't think Exotic should have gotten such a hefty sentence, he added, "Should he be sprung from jail at this time? I don't think so."

But "sometimes our criminal justice system is about punishing people and not reforming people."

Joe Exotic in a scene from the wildly addictive, and truly insane true crime TV series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness. Picture: Supplied by Netflix.
Joe Exotic in a scene from the wildly addictive, and truly insane true crime TV series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness. Picture: Supplied by Netflix.

 

Meanwhile, Goode was conflicted over his opinion of Exotic's nemesis and fellow animal lover, Carole Baskin.

After the series was released, she and her husband, Howard, said the filmmakers were "devoid of integrity" and "not interested in the truth."

"I would like to speak with them," Goode said. "I feel that Carole, out of all these people, at least had the right message: to stop breeding and exploiting these cats for monetary gain."

But he said that he worries Carole - who calls herself a big cat rescuer, but also keeps lions and tigers in cages - isn't being fair to the animals.

Carole Baskin’s big cat sanctuary houses dozens of animals in cages. Picture: Supplied by Netflix.
Carole Baskin’s big cat sanctuary houses dozens of animals in cages. Picture: Supplied by Netflix.

 

"Sometimes you wonder whether or not one should humanely euthanize these cats instead of (letting them) suffer in cages," he said.

"I posed the question to Carole: Is it fair to keep these tigers in cages? These animals pace neurotically. I know she means well, but I wonder if it's really the right thing to do."

He also said, "We wondered - and there were a lot of questions that arose when we interviewed her - (about) her lack of intellectual curiosity about these animals … She has never travelled to see these animals in the wild … It felt very much like she just wanted to live with a bunch of big cats."

This article was originally published in the New York Post and was reproduced here with permission.



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