Tiger King: The directors have officially responded to all the questions we had
There might be a second series!
Usually, with a series like Tiger King, everyone will have their involvement and then move on. This is categorically not the case with this show. Whether it’s John Finlay setting up his own Facebook page on the truth, Dillon Passage responding to a load of questions on his Instagram or seemingly every single person featured in the series being interviewed by David Spade, the amount of discussion by people involved after the show is unprecedented.
And then it comes to the directors, who have since spoken to various news outlets to answer some of the burning questions that the audience have had. We’ve compiled their answers and sorted them into questions so that you don’t have to sift through them. You’re welcome:
Have they been in contact with Joe?
The directors seem to have been in pretty close contact with Joe, talking to him at least several times since the series was released. Eric Goode, the director of Tiger King, told The Los Angeles Times: “Joe has called me quite a few times over the last few days and weeks. One, he is absolutely ecstatic about the series and the idea of being famous. He’s absolutely thrilled. I think he is trying to be an advocate for — no surprise — criminal justice reform.”
Rebecca Chaiklin, co-director of Tiger King, told The Los Angeles Times: “You can hardly talk to [Joe Exotic] without him mentioning the amount of press he’s getting. He says people are asking to see his Prince Albert and girls are sending him sexy bikini pictures even though he’s gay. He’s over the moon.”
What did they actually think of Joe as a person?
The directors seemed to have mixed views of Joe, saying that although he’s been through some hardship, there are unavoidable bad things that he’s done. Goode told LadBible: “He was one of those people that would try to tell you what you wanted to hear. He’s very manipulative – and smart in many ways – but in the end you know all of these people, including Carole, created their own little world within a world. Most of them are living outside of mainstream America.
“With Joe, we have empathy for him, but at the same time, he’s someone who really knows what to say at the right moment. I take it with a big grain of salt when he says he is now apologetic for keeping animals.”
Rebecca Chaiklin, co-director of Tiger King, told The Los Angeles Times: “Joe definitely did some horrible things to his animals. He was very abusive to them and he shot five tigers, no question about it. But what has happened to him has also been hard”.
Did they ever confront any of the big cat owners??
Goode told Vanity Fair: “In a way, I did confront Joe many times. There were a lot of crocodile tears with Joe… I always asked the question to Carole Baskin: ‘Carole, why not humanely euthanize these animals? If you don’t think these big cats, lions, tigers, and leopards should be in cages, why let them suffer in a cage?’
“And she would say, ‘Oh, I can’t play God.’ Then I would say to her, ‘You are playing God. You’re making a decision.’ I struggled with all of it… If I had the balls, I would want to confront Doc the most because I think there’s a lot of questions about his operation that are not answered.”
What is their response to Carole’s blog post about the series?
Goode responded to Carole’s blog post to IndieWire, saying: “Carole talked about her personal life, her childhood, abuse from her first and second husband, the disappearance of her ex, Don Lewis. She knew that this was not just about … it’s not a Blackfish because of the things she spoke about. She certainly wasn’t coerced.
“The other thing I would say about all these people is that there was a lack of intellectual curiosity to really go and understand or even see these animals in the wild. Certainly, Carole really had no interest in seeing an animal in the wild… The lack of education, frankly, was really interesting – how they had built their own little utopias and really were only interested in that world and the rules they had created.”
What is their response to Doc Antle saying that they paid for interviews?
The directors have refuted Antle’s claims that people were paid for interviews. Chaiklin told The Los Angeles Times: “Categorically, we do not pay people for interviews. We licensed a huge amount of archival footage and personal footage, and we paid for it, the same way we would pay Getty or CNN. Other than that, we paid for a few locations here or there and a couple of life rights deals, because at a certain point there were like eight other documentaries.”
What is their response to John Finlay claiming that he was told to take his shirt off?
When asked why Finlay was topless in all of his interviews Chaiklin, co-director of the series, told The Los Angeles Times: “I think he was very proud of his tattoos. That’s a big thing in that particular culture.”
When they followed up with: “So he wanted to be shirtless?”, she simply replied: “Yes”.
What do they think of exotic animal sanctuaries on the whole?
Goode told LadBible that he didn’t think people should be exploiting animals if it’s for any reason other than conservation: “People should not be exploiting these incredible animals for monetary gain. I do not see any redeeming aspects of what they’re doing. They’re exploiting these animals, there’s a lot of suffering and cruelty taking place and it’s quite a selfish pursuit.
“I think that ultimately if you want to save tigers, the right solution is to save tigers in the wild.”
Do they want to do a spin-off or make more episodes?
Speaking to IndieWire, Goode said: “We never wanted to milk this into more episodes. Some people argue that this could have been 10 episodes, that we should go deeper into certain issues or certain characters.
“We do have footage that we shot since we locked, and maybe it’d be interesting to put that out there in some way. You could keep going. I just think my intellectual curiosity has kind of ended. Most of these people now are not going to continue to give us access. I think it’s very clear that this is not a story that we can continue to chronicle with our main characters.”
So, no part two?
Rebecca Chaiklin said to Entertainment Weekly: “To be continued. I mean, yes we have a crazy amount of footage and it’s a story that’s still unfolding.
“We’re not sure yet, but there could be a follow-up on this story because there’s a lot that’s still unfolding in it, and it’ll be just as dramatic and just as colourful as what has unfolded these past few years.” Here’s to hoping.