At this point, we assume you’re at least passingly familiar with the saga of Joseph Allen Schreibvogel Maldonado Passage, aka Joe Exotic, the gun-toting, polygamous country singer/politician/big cat enthusiast at the center of Netflix’s most outrageous documentary series.
If you’re somehow unaware of Joe and the absolutely bonkers misadventures that have quickly made him 2020’s most-memeable public figure, we encourage you to drop everything and binge watch Tiger King at your earliest convenience.
Trust us, once you dive into the world of the Tiger Wars, you won’t want to come up for air.
We’ll put it this way — there’s a scene where a guy blows his brains out, and it doesn’t crack the top ten list of Tiger King’s most-discussed moments.
Anyway, if you’ve already seen the series, you know that Joe Exotic is serving 22 years behind bars for allegedly hiring a hitman to kill his rival, Carole Baskin.
(Numerous charges of animal abuse and neglect — which were much easier to prove than the murder-for-hire plot — certainly didn’t help his case.)
Already, Cardi B has started a GoFundMe for Joe Exotic’s legal defense, but it seems the 57-year-old former zoo owner is pinning his hopes for freedom on an even bigger celebrity.
In a post that appeared on his his Facebook page this week (it was presumably posted by his husband or legal team), Exotic requested a presidential pardon from Donald Trump.
He also announced that he’s suing director and producers of Tiger King for $94 million.
“This lawsuit has been filed in the name of Justice, The Trump Administration must be made aware of the Overreach, perjury, abuse of power and the failure to uphold the Oath of their position which is truth and Justice for all,” the post read in part.
Well, the Donald is a Big Fan of random capitalization, so we guess Joe knows his audience.
But will Trump stick his neck out to free a guy who’s been caught on camera engaging in some truly atrocious behavior (and who ran against him in the 2016 presidential election!)?
Tough to say.
It would be an absolutely bonkers thing to do in an election year, but we’re talking about two very bonkers gentlemen here.
And there’s a good chance that Trump sees a kindred spirit in Joe.
They both love the spotlight and ridiculous attire, for starters.
On top of that, neither of them is satisfied with one sexual partner, and they’ve both spent years of their life publicly railing against their more demure female rivals, long after any sane person would have let it go.
Interestingly, Carole Baskin has also condemned Tiger King and the filmmakers responsible for the documentary.
We guess she wasn’t crazy about the episode in which those who know her best make a very strong case that she’s guilty of murdering her husband.
Who would’ve thought?
In a sternly-worded public statement issued earlier this week, Baskin claims that she was duped into participating in the documentary by filmmakers who claimed the goal of their project was to expose the abuse of big cats that takes place in zoos across the country.
"When the directors of the Netflix documentary Tiger King came to us five years ago they said they wanted to make the big cat version of Blackfish (the documentary that exposed abuse at SeaWorld) that would expose the misery caused by the rampant breeding of big cat cubs for cub petting exploitation and the awful life the cats lead in roadside zoos and back yards if they survive," said Carole and her husband, Harold Baskin.
"There are not words for how disappointing it is to see that the series 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."
If that’s really the case, then we suppose Carole has reason to be upset.
Of course, it’s possible the filmmakers came in with the intention of focusing on the animals, but quickly realized the real story is Joe himself.
Whatever the case, we suppose when both sides of a conflict feel they were portrayed unfairly, that means the filmmakers did something right.
Then again, this is the morally ambiguous world of Tiger King we’re talking about, so it’s possible the director and his team have some dirt on their hands, as well.
We just hope they’re currently in th midst of developing a sequel.
It’s what the world needs now.