Carole Baskin has given her opinion on Tiger King, the Netflix true-crime series that brought her into the public eye earlier this year.
The documentary followed zookeeper Joe Exotic and owners of big cat sanctuaries across America including Baskin, who accused Exotic of abusing and exploiting his animals. The show claimed that the pair had a long-running dispute.
Baskin shared her reaction to the series when she finished watching it saying: “At the end of it, I just sat there with my husband looking at each other like, ‘What was that?’
“Such a missed opportunity,” she told the Guardian. “Because there was so much they could have shown people about the egregious abuse that these animals suffer. Instead, they just glamourised this yahoo in Oklahoma and tried to create a feud.”
She added: “I’ve never even spoken to Joe Exotic. I’ve seen him in person I think four times.”
However, Baskin added that there was a silver lining to the publicity the show had generated, saying that it had got people “finally talking about the real issues”. “If they had done a documentary that showed all of the suffering and abuse of these big cats, I don’t know if people would have watched it, shared it the way they did,” she said.
“But at least this opened the door and once I got my foot in that door it’s like: ‘And now you’re going to hear about the cats!’”
In September, it was announced that Baskin and her husband Harold will host a new unscripted show “as they work to expose, like never before, those who abuse and take advantage of various animals”.
The series is currently without a title or release date, but is in pre-production by ITV America’s ThinkFactory Media.