“Tiger King” star Carole Baskin doesn’t want to watch Netflix’s upcoming sequel to the docuseries but believes she’ll have to in order to defend herself against any potential false claims.
Netflix announced “Tiger King 2” Thursday with brief footage of Baskin and Joe Exotic, with the latter phoning in from jail. Exotic is currently serving a 17-year sentence for attempting a murder-for-hire plot aimed at Baskin.
Baskin weighed in on the news that “Tiger King” filmmakers Rebecca Chaiklin and Eric Goode would soon be releasing a sequel when the Big Cat Rescue founder spoke with Variety over the phone Thursday.
“I know some people who have been involved in it and they were doing more filming, so I assumed at some point they would come out with a ‘Tiger King 2.’ It took them five years to put together the first one, so I thought it would be a lot longer,” she told the outlet.
Baskin went on to slam the docuseries’ directors, saying that she “wouldn’t call Eric Goode or Rebecca Chaiklin true documentarians.”
This was the reason why Baskin doesn’t have high hopes for the sequel. “Why would I believe them? They’ve already shown who they are. They can’t back off of that ledge,” she explained.
After seeing the original docuseries, which premiered in March 2020, Baskin said that what she was told would be a look at rescuing big cats held in facilities such as Exotic’s zoo ended up being a “reality show dumpster fire.”
But Baskin said that she is expecting that she’ll have to watch “Tiger King 2,” just like she watched the first series, in order to defend herself against the allegedly false claims she expects to be made about her.
“My phone started ringing off the hook for three months straight, people cursing at me and telling me that they wanted to burn the place to the ground and they wanted to kill me and my family and the cats,” the former “Dancing With the Stars” contestant recalled. “So whatever ‘Tiger King 2’ does, I’ll have that same reaction from the public that has been misled. I’ll have to spend a lot of time explaining to them how they have been misled, which means I have to watch it.”
Baskin continued, “I think there’s a Mark Twain quote about a lie making its way around the world faster than the truth can get its pants on, and that’s true because people just love a good lie.”
But while she plans to watch “Tiger King 2,” Baskin urged fans to instead watch “The Conservation Game” and support the Big Cat Rescue bill. According to her, if people want to know “the actual truth behind the big cat crisis in the U.S.,” they should watch Michael Webber’s film, which follows an animal activist as he investigates the corruption within the exotic pet trade.
“[Webber’s] film answers the important questions that ‘Tiger King’ glossed over,” Baskin claimed.
In a previous interview, Baskin claimed that she was invited to be part of “Tiger King 2” but rejected the offer because she felt that the filmmakers had betrayed her.
The producers allegedly made her believe that she would be the heroine of the show. They also convinced her to talk about her first husband, Don Lewis, as background context. Following the docuseries’ premiere, Baskin was shocked when she saw that they’d dedicated an entire episode to her missing husband, including Exotic’s allegations that she killed Lewis and fed him to her tigers in 1997.
“I told them to lose my number,” Baskin told Page Six of how she responded to Netflix’s invitation to star in the sequel. “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.”
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