Everyone has an opinion about Tiger King. Since the docuseries dropped on Netflix on March 20, group chats, Twitter threads, and Zoom calls have been filled with questions, memes, and commentary about the people and events featured in it. Even the stars of the doc are taking part in the conversation, weighing in on how they feel about how they were portrayed on the show. One of the latest subjects to speak up is Joe Exotic's fourth and current husband Dillon Passage, who shared his thoughts about Tiger King and made it quite clear where he stands.
In the days following the debut of Tiger King, the interview subjects who participated in filming have come forward to share their thoughts on how the final product turned out. Unlike Carole Baskin and Bhagavan "Doc" Antle — both of whom have publicly called out the creators of the docuseries for its portrayal of them — Passage is pretty happy with Tiger King.
"The producers, they put the story together very, very well, I think," he told Andy Cohen on his radio show, SiriusXM’s Radio Andy. "They stayed true to the entire storyline."
Passage didn't appear in the series until Episode 5, very soon after Exotic's third husband Travis Maldonado died. This means Passage wasn't there for a lot of what was featured on the show. "I even learned a lot of things I didn’t know, like, about Carole and Joe’s feud," Passage said about watching the docuseries.
Reminiscing on the footage of his first date with Exotic, Passage revealed he didn't know he was going to be on camera. "I walked out of the house and he pulls up in the limo, and all these camera people get out, and I was like, ‘What the hell?’ And he was like, ‘Oh I’m filming something, it’s not a big deal.’"
Even after he learned what was going on with the documentary, though, he had no idea what Tiger King would become — no one did.
"My life wasn’t supposed to be put on blast. I wasn’t prepared for that," he told Cohen, explaining the documentary was originally just supposed to be about the world of big cat owners. "It was never supposed to be this big. The producers were even shocked … Joe got arrested and it just completely changed the whole dynamic."
Passage declined to say much about Jeff Lowe, the man who bought Exotic's G.W. Zoo and worked with federal authorities to bring up charges that led to his arrest, but he did allude to him. "[Exotic] was definitely persuaded into the situation he was in, and it was all coerced and orchestrated by a madman," he said. "He was in a bad place also, just losing Travis, and I feel like he was definitely taken advantage of." (Lowe, for what it's worth, has refuted claims he tricked Exotic.)
In the interview, Passage also revealed to Cohen (who recently recovered from the coronavirus) that Exotic is in isolation due to the illness. “They are putting him on a COVID-19 isolation because of the previous jail he was at, there were cases,” Passage said. Based on this quote, it's unclear if Exotic is actually in isolation, meaning he has or is suspected to have the coronavirus, or if he is in quarantine, meaning he was or is suspected to have been exposed to the virus.
Passage said he hasn't been able to speak to his husband since he was moved, but before then, Exotic was hype about Tiger King. Though Exotic still hasn't seen the docuseries, due to the whole being in jail thing, Passage told him all about it over the phone. “I would talk to him about some of the memes that were made and he just laughed his butt off. It was hilarious," Passage told Variety. "He loved it … He loves the attention, obviously, so any fame or spotlight that he has had was greatly appreciated.”