Netflix’s new true crime documentary Tiger King is about a gay Oklahoma tiger breeder called Joe Exotic who may have tried to have an animal rights activist murdered.
The streaming giant appears to be taking ‘Be Gay, Do Crime’ as something of a mission statement recently – dropping its third true docuseries about an LGBT+ criminal in just months, following Don’t F**k With Cats and Killer Inside, which are based on murderers Luka Magnotta and Aaron Hernandez.
Joe Exotic ran the exotic animal underworld.
But Tiger King takes the entire format to a whole new level – following Joe Exotic, real name Joseph Schreibvogel Maldonado-Passage, who was the self-proclaimed king of the shady exotic animal underworld.
Exotic, who ran for president in 2016 and somehow managed not to be the worst candidate despite doing literal crimes, is a proud ‘gun-toting gay redneck’ and a polygamist who has had several concurrent husbands.
The larger-than-life figure ran the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, a private park in Oklahoma known for breeding a large collection of tigers, lions and other big cats.
The park, which is reviled by animal rights activists, also offers for-profit ‘cub petting’ with baby tigers ≠ considered a form of animal cruelty.
Tiger King was jailed for putting a hit on animal rights activist.
The docuseries tracks Joe Exotic as the wheels slowly start to come off of both his business and personal life – culminating in the accidental death of one of his husbands, and his eventual imprisonment for attempting to have Carole Baskin of animal sanctuary Big Cat Rescue murdered.
Exotic had extensive legal battles with Baskin, denigrating her in public continuously – including in a viral campaign ad during his presidential bid.
In the campaign ad, he said: “The first thing is, I am not cutting my hair. I am not changing the way I dress, I refuse to wear a suit. I am gay, I’ve had two boyfriends most of my life… I’ve had some kinky sex, I’ve tried drugs.
“I’m broke as s**t, I have a judgement against me from some b***h down there in Florida, I paid the fine with the USJ… that does not mean I was convicted of any kind of animal cruelty thing. I have one of the biggest facilitates for exotic animals in this country as far as private individuals go.
“I am Joe Exotic, and don’t forget, I am now stepping my foot in the ring to run for president.