Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is a documentary TV series executive produced and directed Rebecca Chaiklin and Eric Goode. It follows the life of big cat enthusiast and 2006 Presidential candidate, Joe Exotic, and it’s… wild… to say the least. Immediately after its upload, Tiger King was a hit, with around 34 million people watching within 10 days of its release.
My initial reaction after hearing about the series was intriguing. When I asked people what the series was about, they always said it was “indescribable,” something I had to experience for myself to understand. So I did. And boy did I have thoughts.
Most people in the documentary, but primarily the main people it follows (Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin), seem like outright animal abusers. Carole Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue’s facilities are unkempt and too small for the number of big cats it houses, Joe Exotic brings tiger cubs to precarious situations where they’ll be surrounded by alcohol, loud music, and drunk people, and he uses the cubs for his own financial or sexual gain. The abuse is depicted multiple times throughout the series, and yet no one seems to care. Big Cat Rescue is still operational. Joe Exotic’s G.W. Zoo is operating under new ownership and financially struggling, likely meaning many of its animals will die.
While the docuseries is certainly entertaining, the lack of response on behalf of the animals is concerning. Personally, I found the series hard to enjoy once I learned of the ongoing animal abuse, but I want to know, is it just me? Many people seem to love the series. What do you guys think?
Yay or Nay?