Despite being a quarantine favorite among streamers, Netflix's latest hit documentary isn't a hit with everyone. Carole Baskin responded to Tiger King in a blog posted to her Big Cat Rescue website on Sunday, March 22. In her blog, she called Tiger Kind: Murder, Mayhem and Madness "salacious and sensational." She's especially unhappy with the suggestion that she may have been involved in the 1997 disappearance of her second husband, Jack Donald Lewis. (He was declared dead in 2002.)
In response to what she calls "lies and innuendos" regarding Lewis, she wrote, "The series presents this without any regard for the truth or in most cases even giving me an opportunity before publication to rebut the absurd claims. They did not care about truth. The unsavory lies are better for getting viewers." She also claimed that even though "Don was not easy to live with," she "never threatened him and I certainly had nothing to do with his disappearance." As for those theories that she used a meat grinder on Don and then fed him to tigers, Baskin called them "the most ludicrous of all the lies."
The animal activist also finds fault with Tiger King's directors Rebecca Chaiklin and Eric Goode. She wrote on her website that they originally pitched Tiger King as a "big cat version of Blackfish," but it didn't turn out that way. "There are not words for how disappointing it is to see that the docuseries not only does not do any of that, but has had the sole goal of being as salacious and sensational as possible to draw viewers," she wrote.
In a March 24 interview with IndieWire, Chaiklin and Goode discussed Tiger King, noting that their original intent was, in fact, to be "more issue-oriented," as Chaiklin explained. "We had no idea that it would take the twists and turns that it would end up taking," Chailkin continued. Goode added, "That was a very honest way the story unfolded." The directors insist that they began investigating places involving "crazy exotic animals" in Florida, but after encountering many unique individuals, the film eventually evolved into a story about tiger keeper Joe Exotic. (Exotic is currently serving 22 years in prison for allegedly attempting to hire two hitmen to kill Baskin.)
And while the personality-driven documentary is a hit with viewers, Baskin won't be watching it anytime soon.