‘Tiger King’ Directors Say Imprisoned Joe Exotic Is ‘Absolutely Ecstatic’ About ‘The Idea Of Being Famous’

A still photo from the Netflix documentary 'Tiger King'
Netflix

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness has become an instant hit on Netflix. Now, the co-directors and writers of the seven-part docuseries, Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin, are opening to the Los Angeles Times about the series that has kept the country entertained during the coronavirus quarantine. Among other things, they revealed how Joe Exotic feels about being famous.

“He is absolutely ecstatic about the series and the idea of being famous,” Eric explained.

Joe, whose real name is Joe Maldonado-Passage, is currently serving a prison sentence, though he is reportedly aware of the press he is getting thanks to the show.

“You can hardly talk to him without him mentioning the amount of press he’s getting,” Rebecca said adding, “He’s over the moon. Having kept in pretty close touch with him while he’s been in a horrible county prison, this has raised his spirits.”

Eric added that Joe Exotic is “absolutely thrilled” and explained that he believes the big cat breeder and former Oklahoma zoo owner is trying to be an advocate for “criminal justice reform.”

“He is in a cage and of course he’s gonna say that he now recognizes what he did to these animals.”

Eric admits that while they have “empathy” for Joe Exotic, he also takes his apologies for keeping animals with a “big grain of salt.”

Eric and Rebecca were also asked about the status of the Oklahoma zoo that was featured in the show. The series showed Jeff Lowe’s plans to reopen the zoo in another part of Oklahoma, but Eric seems skeptical that it will happen.

“I think he’s gonna struggle to get it open,” Eric explained, adding that Jeff has allegedly tried to solicit money from former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal.

Shaq has since spoken out and while he admitted that he has been to the G.W. Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma, he made it clear that he is not friends with Joe Exotic.

Of course, fans who have binge-watched all seven episodes of the docuseries have plenty of other questions and the directors were able to give some updates.

One thing that some fans have wondered is whether or not Joe and his husband Dillon are still together. According to Rebecca Chaiklin, the two men are still married.

Since the series debut on Netflix, Carole Baskin has spoken out about her disappointment with the show, explaining that she thought the docuseries would be more like Blackfish.