Joe vs Carole Star Didn’t Like Netflix’s Tiger King Documentary

Joe vs Carole star John Cameron Mitchell revealed he didn't like Netflix's Tiger King, as he thought it was too unempathetic. Joe vs Carole is an American drama miniseries based on Wondery's Over My Dead Body podcast and follows the case of Joe Exotic's murder-for-hire plot. The series stars Mitchell as Exotic, a private zookeeper, and Kate McKinnon as Carole Baskin, an American animal rights activist. Joe vs Carol released on March 3rd and while it received praise for Mitchell and McKinnon's performances, the series was criticized for revisiting a story that has already been covered before.

The first season of Tiger King premiered on March 20, 2020 and captivated audiences during the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Tiger King explored the real-life tale of Exotic, whose murder-for-hire plot landed him in prison for 22-years. The series also explored Exotic's shady business partner, Jeff Lowe, the disappearance of Baskin's husband, and the unethical practices of private zoos and the big cat trade. Tiger King season 1 received positive reception, but season 2 was criticized for adding nothing substantial to the first season's investigation.

Related: Tiger King 2 & 3 Prove The Real Danger of Joe Exotic

In an interview with Collider, Joe vs Carole star, Mitchell, reveals he didn't like Netflix's Tiger King. Mitchell watched the series as part of his preparation for the role and believes that the real Exotic and Baskin are the ones seen in flashback footage in the series. Mitchell explained that both Exotic and Baskin were soft creatures at their core, but were corrupted by the trauma they experienced.

"I just immersed myself. I hadn’t seen the docu-series. I watched a little bit for the audition, and then watched the rest of it later. It wasn’t to my taste. It was a little too unempathetic. But there’s so much footage of him. There was one particular tape of him, as a very young man in the ‘90s, and he was a softer creature. He had a lisp, and he was not brash and over the top, he was just loving on his animals. I thought, “This is the core of him. This is what got corrupted. This is what got covered over, by the scar tissue of his experience.” Soon after that, he lost his husband. Trouble and death dogged him, his whole life. He was sexually abused. He experienced a lot of homophobia. Carole had her own abuse. We see these characters in these flashbacks."

Mitchell's statement describes the difference in perspective between Tiger King and Joe vs Carole. The latter attempts to provide a deep dive into the true character of Exotic and Baskins, while Tiger King capitalized on the entertainment in their eccentricities and dirty deeds. Mitchell is also correct in that the Tiger King isn't very empathetic in its telling of Exotic and Baskin's story. Most Tiger King viewers are shocked by Exotic's narcissism and treatment of animals. Meanwhile, Baskin has sued Netflix over Tiger King season 2 using footage of her and has refuted the series' claims that she was involved in her husband's disappearance. Needless to say, neither Exotic nor Baskin are painted in a very positive light in Tiger King. Mitchell believes that there is more to their story and that greater focus should be given to the trauma they've suffered and who they were originally.

While Tiger King and Joe vs Carole seemingly cover the same story, it isn't difficult to understand why Mitchell disliked one and starred in the other. Tiger King largely glossed over major parts of Exotic's life. It didn't visit Exotic's abuse as a child, the death of his first husband from HIV, and how he was originally dedicated to helping rescued animals. While this doesn't change the fact that Exotic committed many crimes and is no longer a very likeable figure, viewers should hear his entire story before forming an opinion on him. While Joe Vs. Carole might've missed the timeframe for telling Exotic's and Baskin's story, it is a unique perspective that does contrast with Tiger King's telling of the story.

More: It's Already Too Late For Joe vs Carole

Source: Collider

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