Netflix will be heading to the courtroom courtesy of Carole Baskin. Shortly after the release of the trailer for Tiger King 2, an upcoming docuseries on Netflix that serves as a followup to last year’s smash hit Tiger King: Murder, Madness and Mayhem, Baskin sued Netflix and Royal Goode Productions over her inclusion. She also filed an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order that would block Netflix from using any footage of the Baskins and the Big Cat Rescue sanctuary in Tiger King 2 or any of its marketing.
According to the complaint, Baskin and her husband, Howard, say the footage used in Tiger King 2 violates the agreement that was originally in place to film the first docuseries, noting they were told it was for one “documentary motion picture” described as a “Blackfish style documentary to expose the big cat trade.” The Baskins also say the filmmakers shot additional footage at the sanctuary without permission, and in addition to being unpaid, they also stress how the final cut was nothing at all what they were expecting.
They also take exception to their portrayal in Tiger King, feeling it made Joe Exotic look like the hero. Carole Baskin’s attorney, Frank Jakes, says in the complaint: “Far from being a documentary motion picture that seeks to expose the illicit trade of big cat private ownership, breeding and cub petting, Tiger King 1 is a seven (7) episode series focused primarily upon portrayal of Joe Exotic as a sympathetic victim and Carole as the villain.”
“Joe Exotic was one of the big cat abusers targeted by the Baskins’ advocacy efforts,” adds Jakes. “Prior litigation between the Big Cat Rescue and Joe Exotic resulting in a $1 million+ judgment against Joe Exotic and his roadside zoo. Fearing the loss of his livelihood, Joe Exotic solicited a hit man to murder Carole Baskin. Fortunately, the plot was uncovered. In 2019, Joe Exotic was convicted of both the murder-for-hire scheme and for killing some of his tigers.”
Baskin is also unhappy with how Tiger King portrayed her “as a murderer” who had orchestrated the death of her missing husband, possibly by feeding his remains to her big cats. The Baskins say this resulted in hate mail, harassment, and death threats from viewers of the program. They also address their refusal to participate in Tiger King 2 which they believed would prevent them from being featured in the sequel series, but with that clearly not being the case, they chose to take legal action.
“After Tiger King 1, Royal Goode Productions again approached the Baskins ‘to clear the air’ and, presumably, to entice them into being filmed for the sequel called Tiger King 2,” the complaint also states. “The Baskins refused, believing that the Appearance Releases prevented any further use of their film footage by Royal Goode Productions and Netflix in any sequel. Then, on October 27, 2021, Netflix released its Official Tiger King 2 Trailer. To the Baskins’ dismay, the trailer prominently displayed film footage of the Baskins and made clear that Tiger King 2 would do the same.”
Because Tiger King 2 is scheduled to premiere on Nov. 17, the Baskins are asking the court to get involved by Nov. 16, alleging they will suffer “irreparable harm” if the series is released. Netflix has not publicly responded to the lawsuit just yet. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.