Tiger King star Carole Baskin has revealed that producers have been in touch about season two but she’s refused to take part, explaining that she felt “so misled” after the release of the first season.
In an exclusive interview with RadioTimes.com, big cat activist Baskin said that the team behind Tiger King, directors Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin, reached out about a follow-up not too long ago.
“It was just a few weeks ago that Rebecca Chaiklin had reached out asking if we could clear the air. I have been speaking about how we had been so misled into thinking this was going to be the Blackfish for big cats and then it turned out to be the freak show that they produced.
“So when she said she wanted to clear the air, I felt like, you know, that’s just absolutely ridiculous. It was so obvious that I had been betrayed by them. Why would she ever think that I would be willing to speak to them again. And so I told her to just lose my number.”
Baskin added that Chaiklin then reached out to her current husband, Howard Baskin. “He said if you guys want to redeem yourselves for all of the horrible things that you made people believe about us that just weren’t true, then your season two will show that but we don’t want any part of it.”
One of Netflix’s most successful releases to date, Tiger King was released in March last year and examined the exotic animal industry in the US, focussing mainly on the feud between private zoo owner Joe Exotic and big cat conservationist Carole Baskin.
The series looked at Exotic’s Oklahoma zoo, his allegations that Baskin murdered her missing second husband Don Lewis, Baskin’s successful copyright lawsuits against Exotic and Exotic’s eventual imprisonment for attempting to hire a hitman to kill Baskin.
Explaining why she refused to appear in season two, Baskin said that she’d worked with the Tiger King team for five years whilst filming season one and believed they were working on something that would expose the cub petting industry and big cat extinction.
“Because of the fact that they took so many things out of context and allowed people who know nothing about my history or about the relationship that I had with my former husband Don Lewis, just a bunch of animal abusers out there saying things about me that they said for years but nobody ever paid them any attention.
“And then Tiger King gave them a microphone that took it into– I heard something like 64 million people have seen it and they never would have got that kind of attention on their own because people can easily look up [what happened] if they have any interest at all because of the court records and see that most of the stuff they were saying was just untrue.
“The other things that you can’t prove, like we don’t know what happened to my husband, but by virtue of the very fact that the sheriff’s office has always said that I’ve never even been a person of interest in that and yet they were making all kinds of allegations and then just trotting out one animal abuser after another to back up that narrative because that was salacious.
“And that, I think, is what enabled them to sell the piece to Netflix for as much as they did.”
Baskin added that she only realised that the documentary had focused on the disappearance of her first husband Don Lewis and the conspiracy theories around her involvement when she sat down to watch the series.
“I found out about it the same time everybody else in the world did. When we saw the trailers coming out for something called Tiger King, we actually reached out to them and said, ‘Who’s working on that film because you said Joe Exotic was going to be like five minutes of your film?’ And all of a sudden, they didn’t want to talk to us.
“So we sat down and binge-watched it and we kept thinking that surely at some point, they would set the record straight, and they never did. They just left all of those false allegations hanging in the air and we’ve all seen the results of that.”
When asked whether she’d been in touch with Joe Exotic or his team since the docuseries aired, Baskin revealed that she’d never actually spoken to Exotic before.
“You know the biggest lie that people were sold in Tiger King was that there was a feud because I’ve never actually spoken to Joe.
“I’ve only ever seen him twice before the trial – the murder for hire trail – and those two times were both in conjunction with our lawsuit that we had against him because he was using our name.
“So no, I have not talked to Joe or any of the people who proclaim to be trying to get him out of jail.”
RadioTimes.com reached out to Netflix regarding Baskin’s comments, but a spokesperson for the streaming platform declined to comment.