Carole Baskin has offered her thoughts on the recently released Joe vs Carole trailer, which teases Peacock’s dramatic adaptation of the famed rivalry originally portrayed in Netflix’s Tiger King documentary series. In March 2020, the world was introduced to the stranger-than-fiction tale of exotic zoo owner Joe “ Exotic” Maldonado-Passage in the true-crime docuseries directed Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin. Following Exotic’s years-long feud with Big Cat Rescue CEO Baskin, Tiger King season 1 was an unexpected hit for Netflix, and would quickly turn its subjects into household names and catapult them into pop-culture super-stardom.
Shortly after the phenomenal success of Tiger King, work on a limited drama series was announced, based on Wondery’s podcast, Over My Dead Body season 2. Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon was announced as both executive producer and the actress tasked with bringing big cat devotee and Exotic’s nemesis Baskin to life on screen in Joe vs Carole. Kyle MacLachlan was later cast as Carole’s current husband Howard Baskin, while Hedwig and the Angry Inch’s John Cameron Mitchell was picked to play Maldonado-Passage. Joe vs Carole is also set to star Dean Winters as Exotic’s former business partner Jeff Lowe, and William Fichtner as film producer Richard Kirkham.
Late last week, Peacock released the first Joe vs Carole trailer ahead of its March 3 premiere. The release was not lost on Baskin herself, who recently spoke to Metro (via EW Canada) about her thoughts on the new teaser and the upcoming series. Suggesting Joe vs Carole looks “a lot more entertaining than the situation was in real life,” Baskin also took the opportunity to redirect attention to the issues of big cat abuse and the “imminent extinction of big cats due to cub petting.” Read her full comments below:
“My husband and I look forward to seeing Kate McKinnon and Kyle McLaughlin’s portrayal of us, even though we expect it will be a parody based on the trailer. Both are talented actors and I expect Joe vs Carole will be a lot more entertaining than the situation was in real life … As with Netflix’s ‘Tiger King, Murder, Mayhem and Madness’ and Wondery’s ‘Joe Exotic, Over My Dead Body’ and all of the other spinoffs, none of these programmes created for entertainment value really get at the main issues of big cat and cub abuse and the imminent extinction of big cats due to cub petting, like we do in Discovery+ ‘Carole Baskin’s Cage Fight’ … My fear is that in the next five years, while people are morbidly obsessed the plight of my former husband, Don Lewis, we will have reached the point of no return for the planet by failing to safeguard the world’s most iconic species.”
Despite her concerns over her portrayal in Tiger King, and the implications that arose regarding her involvement in the disappearance of her former husband, Don Lewis, Baskin seems decidedly more open to her portrayal by McKinnon in this upcoming dramatization in Joe vs Carole. In November last year, Baskin and her husband launched a lawsuit against the streaming giant in a bid to have all footage of them removed from Tiger King season 2, which continued exploring further theories regarding Lewis’ disappearance. While this suit was ultimately dismissed, Baskin made her thoughts clear about what she herself had termed as a “reality show dumpster fire.”
Baskin’s far more philosophical approach to Peacock’s new series is certainly interesting given how vehemently she was opposed to Netflix’s take on the events between the two figures. Whether or not McKinnon’s portrayal of Baskin will potentially be any more flattering remains to be seen, but no doubt the people involved will be hoping it will resonate far better with audiences than the lamentable and critically maligned Tiger King season 2 did. Tiger King fans and other viewers caught up in the intrigue surrounding the bizarre tale of Maldonado-Passage’s rivalry with Baskin will be able to see how well McKinnon and her co-stars do the story justice when Joe vs Carole hits Peacock in March.
Source: Metro (via EW Canada)
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