There’s still a lot we don’t know about Carole Baskin, the foil to “Tiger King” subject and would-be proxy murderer Joe Exotic.
And while armchair detectives such as Kim Kardashian have speculated Baskin could be a murderess herself, what we do know about the notorious animal rights activist at the heart of the wildly popular Netflix docuseries is that big cats are her singular priority.
So when it comes to another upcoming TV series based on the events in the doc, she’s begging creators not to use big cats for the production.
Baskin, who runs Big Cat Rescue sanctuary in Tampa, Fla., will be portrayed by ‘SNL’ star Kate McKinnon, who is also executive producer of the biopic series.
In a statement directed at McKinnon, Baskin tells Entertainment Weekly, “Kate McKinnon is a wonderful actress. Big Cat Rescue implores Kate McKinnon to not use real big cats and cubs in the making of her series.”
In fact, the project has been in the works since last November, Deadline reports — long before the runaway success of the current Netflix docuseries. Instead, McKinnon based her limited series on the second season of the Wondery podcast series, “Over My Dead Body,” called simply “Joe Exotic.”
“It would be cruel to use real big cats in a television series about cruelty to big cats,” says Baskin.
“We hope McKinnon has a passion for animals and that her series will focus on the horrible lives captive big cats lead when exploited by breeders like Joe Exotic. We further hope she urges the public to support the Big Cat Public Safety Act that would end the cub petting abuse in America.”
Baskin isn’t alone in her request.
Vigilante animal rights group PETA has also released a statement urging Universal Content Production to refrain from using live tigers in the upcoming series, while also shoring up Hollywood’s long history of alleged animal abuse for the sake of entertainment.
“Netflix’s ‘Tiger King’ is calling critical attention to the abuse and neglect endured by big cats and other wild animals used for entertainment — progress that will be undone if real wild animals are used in Universal Content Production’s upcoming series,” says PETA senior manager of animals in film and television Lauren Thomasson. “We hope you’ll agree that using technology such as CGI or animatronics or existing footage is the only conscionable way of depicting animals for your series.”
Lately, many celebs have come under fire for their associations with the big cat trade, particularly with tiger showman Bhagavan “Doc” Antle, including Beyoncé, Shaq, Floyd Mayweather, Odell Beckham Jr. and Britney Spears, who featured one of Doc’s tigers in her 2001 MTV VMA performance for “I’m a Slave 4 U.”
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