- The latest Netflix smash hit is a true crime documentary series about a gay man who created a roadside zoo in the US.
Joe Exotic, the gay star of Netflix’s current top-rated show Tiger King, is loving his newfound fame from behind bars.
The documentary only dropped on Netflix 10 days ago but with many people shut in due to coronavirus, it’s become an instant hit. Indeed, it’s currently the streaming platform’s most popular show.
The series follows ‘redneck homosexual’ Joe Exotic, real name Joseph Maldonado-Passage, who created a roadside zoo.
However it’s not just the animals who add the drama. Joe has two husbands, and a vast range of colorful, crazy and criminal friends and foes. To that mix you can add meth, guns and genital piercings.
But the major conflict is between Exotic and Carole Baskin, the owner of Big Cat Rescue. She accuses him of animal abuse. In particular he says his breeding programs, conditions and allowing visitors to pet lion and tiger cubs are cruel.
In return, he accuses her of hypocrisy, undermining his income and of harassing him.
After a series of twists, it culminates with an attempted murder which has now landed Exotic with 22 years in jail.
‘People are asking to see his Prince Albert’
Directors Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin filmed the series over five years. Now they have told the Los Angeles Times that Joe Exotic is loving his newfound fame.
Goode said: ‘Joe has called me quite a few times over the last few days and weeks.
‘He is absolutely ecstatic about the series and the idea of being famous. He’s absolutely thrilled.’
Meanwhile Chaiklin said: ‘You can hardly talk to him 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.
‘Having kept in pretty close touch with him while he’s been in a horrible county prison, this has raised his spirits.’
Moreover, Goode revealed that Exotic claims prison has shifted his opinions.
He said: ‘I think he is trying to be an advocate for – no surprise – criminal justice reform. He’s in a cage and of course he’s gonna say that he now recognizes what he did to these animals.
‘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.’
Meanwhile Chaiklin adds: ‘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.’