Carole Baskin sues Netflix over Tiger King season 2 footage
2nd November 2021

Carole Baskin's claws are coming out.

Baskin, the owner of a big-cat sanctuary that was one of the main subjects of the hit 2020 docuseries Tiger King, is suing Netflix and Royal Goode Productions in Florida federal court and filed an emergency motion Monday for a temporary restraining order that would bar them "from any use of film footage of the Baskins and the Big Cat Rescue sanctuary in Tiger King 2 or in any related promotion or advertising."

The complaint, which Baskin filed alongside her husband, Howard Baskin, comes days after Netflix released a trailer for a second season of Tiger King, which hits the streamer Nov. 17. Per the complaint, the promo "prominently depicts the Baskins as a central element of the sequel through the use of the film footage acquired by Royal Goode Productions." The Baskins assert that the footage breached the appearance release they signed for the show's first season.

Netflix Carole Baskin on 'Tiger King'         

"The Appearance Releases limited Royal Goode Productions' right to use film footage of the Baskins to 'a documentary motion picture,'" the complaint says. "Throughout the Appearance Releases there is only reference to and mention of 'the Picture.' No mention is made of granting Royal Goode Production sequel rights, rights to create derivative works from 'the Picture' or additional seasons or episodes… By utilizing the film footage of the Baskins and Big Cat Rescue secured by Royal Goode Productions under the Appearance Releases in 'sizzle reels' and promotional trailers for the sequel entitled Tiger King 2, the Defendants are in breach of the terms of the Appearance Releases."

The Baskins are asking that Netflix and Royal Goode remove any and all footage of them from Tiger King season 2, and are seeking a trial by jury for the matter. They argue that they would suffer "irreparable injury" if the season is allowed to air as is.

Netflix declined to comment on the lawsuit.

The complaint also lays out the Baskins' complaints about the first season of Tiger King, particularly the depiction of Carole and her animal sanctuary. The Baskins contend that Tiger King was pitched to them as "an exposé of the big cat breeding and cub petting trade akin to the documentary feature film entitled Blackfish," but the show instead "focused primarily upon portrayal of Joe Exotic as a sympathetic victim and Carole as the villain."

"Tiger King 1 was particularly harsh and unfair in its depiction of the Baskins and Big Cat Rescue," the complaint says. "The Tiger King 1 series wrongly attempted to suggest that Big Cat Rescue abused its animals by keeping them in very small cages while not making clear that the animals actually reside in expansive enclosures. Also, Tiger King 1 incorrectly suggests an equivalency between Big Cat Rescue and Joe Exotic's roadside zoo, and more broadly that there is no difference between roadside zoos that exploit and mistreat animals and accredited sanctuaries that rescue and provide excellent lifetime care to the animals. Perhaps most pernicious is the overarching implication in Tiger King 1 that Carole Baskin was involved in the disappearance of her first husband in 1997."

Baskin has continuously maintained that she had nothing to do with her former husband's disappearance.

Related content:

  • Tiger King 2 is coming! Wild new season to hit Netflix this November

  • Tiger King zoo is closing, will become film set dedicated to 'TV content'

  • The Tiger King craze continues: Surviving Joe Exotic documentary set at Animal Planet

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