President Donald Trump has said he will “take a look” at the possibility of pardoning Tiger King‘s Joe Exotic, who is serving 22 years behind bars for his role in a murder-for-hire plot.
Responding to a question at a White House press conference on Wednesday (April 8), the US President also admitted said he had not seen the Netflix show — which documents the increasingly bitter rivalry between big cat trainer Exotic and Carole Baskin, the CEO of Florida animal sanctuary Big Cat Rescue.
Any pardon could potentially be swayed by the President’s son Donald Trump Jr, who previously described Exotic’s sentence as “aggressive” after he watched the show in two sittings.
“Now, I don’t even know exactly what he was charged with … I watched the show, but it was like, I don’t know exactly what he was guilty of or wasn’t,” Trump Jr told Sirius XM.
“It doesn’t seem like he was totally innocent of anything. But when they’re saying, ‘We’re putting this guy away for 30 years,’ I’m saying that seems sort of aggressive.”
When The New York Post‘s Steven Nelson referenced his son’s comments about Exotic yesterday, President Trump responded: “Which son? It must be Don. I had a feeling it was Don.”
Exotic was jailed in 2019 after plotting to kill Baskin in a grisly murder-for-hire plot.
Their rivalry became increasingly bitter after Baskin lobbied US officials to legalise the Big Cat Public Safety Act, which would make it tougher for individuals to own tigers and lions, as well as putting an end to the cub-petting permitted in Exotic’s own zoo.
Yesterday, Tiger King earned the crown as the most-watched title on Netflix for the longest period of time, holding the top spot for 15 days according to a report released by the streaming platform.
There is already a potential sequel in the works, courtesy of leading crime and justice network Investigation Discovery (ID). It will investigate the much-discussed disappearance of Carole Baskin’s husband.
Orlando Bloom has also been tipped to play Exotic in a potential big-screen take on the story.