Mockumentary “Tiger King” Receives No Undeserved Gratification At The Emmy’s

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Well, the 15 minutes of undeserved fame for Joe Exotic, the ” Tiger King” are over. Just like the USDA’s limitations of cub handling ONLY in the 8-12 week old age range. As a result, the fame of the cringe-worthy series has finally faded. 

Even those individuals living under a rock, likely heard about the Netflix documentary Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness. The salacious limited series hit gossip gold early in 2020 after premiering during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. It was just as contagious…and likely deadly to many suffering big cats in captivity. But what turned stomachs in the animal community, was the undeserved fame that the abusers received.

Thankfully, the mockumentary that is Tiger King, was given NO gratification at the Emmy’s this past weekend. 

However from the moment the docuseries aired, the directors showed they know nothing about animal welfare. To clarify their skills, they proved they are skilled at one thing. And that is how to capitalize on the fanfare of an overly flamboyant and utterly contemptable “human”.

The biggest prize for which it was nominated was the documentary or nonfiction series Emmy five other awards. All of which were handed out earlier in the week, and all of which went to other nominees.

“Tiger King” was nominated for 5 others as well. Those categories were documentary/nonfiction directing, nonfiction picture editing, documentary series or special music composition (original dramatic score), nonfiction or reality program sound editing (single or multi-camera), nonfiction or reality program sound mixing, and documentary or nonfiction series (single or multi-camera).

(Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

Most importantly, the reality of his situation needs to sink in for Joe. No, it wasn’t HIM as a person anyone cared about, it was exactly how this reporter stated.

By the end, watching the desperate shambles of a number of lives, I couldn’t feel anything resembling sympathy. Just morbid curiosity. This was a tiger-striped train wreck I couldn’t pull my eyes from.

The man at the center of the controversy is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, or more commonly known as the “Joe Exotic”.

But there is nothing exotic about murdering animals and attempting to murder another human. 

Joe’s niece, Chealsi Putman, who helped out at the zoo for years, noticed the same evolution. “It’s like he’s seen dollar signs,” Putman told Longreads.com. “He figured out a way to make money and ran with it.”

Subsequently, this is the man that thousands of people are rooting for. Even to the point of famous “musicians” wanting to help spring him from jail. Fox news reported on the Tiger Kings landslide from his self-imposed reign.

[His lawyers] submitted a 257-page argument to President Trump asking for a pardon from his 22-year prison sentence after being charged with involvement in a murder-for-hire plot, according to TMZ.

Among the documents was a letter from Maldonado-Passage to Donald Trump Jr., in which he reportedly alleged to have been “sexually assaulted by jail staff, beat up and tied in a chair to the point the skin came off my arms.”

It happens to be the perfect karma for a despicable man who caged dozens of tigers into small enclosures.

Remember when the skin rubs off their noses as they pace back and forth along the wire fencing? Deplorable living conditions? Hope your getting a taste of your own spoiled medicine.

As one article pointed out though,

The jury found Joe guilty of 17 wildlife crimes, including illegally killing five tigers and trafficking tigers across state lines — marking the first significant conviction of a tiger criminal in an American courtroom. “This verdict sends a shot across the bow to other roadside zoos who are playing fast and loose with federal regulations,” said Carney Anne Nasser, director of the animal welfare clinic at Michigan State University College of Law.

In other words, the bad boy of the big cat world might have inadvertently contributed to cleaning up the dirty industry he helped build and then exploited for much of his adult life.

Illustration by Zoë van Dijk

And Joe’s exploits, abuses and murder of big cats is anything but revered Tiger King actions. 

What the mocumentary failed to focus on, is the plight these big animals are facing all over the world. In this country, there are an estimated 10,000 big cats in captivity. That’s likely a low number and dwarfs the number of big cats left in the wild. Consequently, that estimate happens to be around 4,000.

Photo: @newsweek.com

In 10 states, anyone can own a lion or tiger, as long as they pay as little as $30 for a license from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Four states — North Carolina, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Oklahoma — have no laws on the books at all.

But there’s a reason the mocumentary was so juicy to the “average Joe”. They were given an anti-hero to distract them from the horrid truth.

Carole Baskin is the founder of Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, FL. And sadly, she was the victim and undeserving scapegoat for most of the series. But the feud only fueled Carole’s dedication to the cats.

Carole and husband Howard at the capital supporting the Big Cat Act

And on the season 28 premier of Dancing With The Stars, Carole stepped out on the dancefloor. But she laughingly admits she’s not a dancer at heart. However, she is happy to waltz her way to Washington D.C. if it helps the animals. 

While Tiger King may have given the world something to gawk at, thankfully they weren’t awarded for their distasteful display. 

Be sure to support those who are actually making a difference in a positive direction for these stunning creatures! Because it’s not about who can be the most outlandish human…it’s about the animals! 

For more information on the Big Cat Act, please visit here. 

AND REMEMBER: BIG CATS DON’T MAKE GOOD PETS; THEY BELONG IN THE WILD!

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Witness Protection For 4 Big Cats FINALLY Ends After Years Of Secrecy!

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