Joe Exotic in 'Tiger King'

Joe Exotic Shared What He *Really* Thinks Of 'Tiger King' & His Newfound Fame


You've heard from Carole Baskin. You've heard from Doc Antle. You've even heard from latecomer to the series Dillon Passage. But one person Tiger King fans were not able to hear from was the main focus of the whole show, Joseph Maldonado-Passage (aka Joe Exotic). The big cat enthusiast has been in jail since before the docuseries dropped on Netflix, so interviews with him haven't exactly been easy to come by — until now, that is. In a video interview with Netflix, Joe Exotic shared what he thinks of Tiger King, and included an important message for fans.

As chronicled in Tiger King, Exotic was arrested in September 2018. In April 2019, he was convicted of two counts of murder-for-hire, in addition to 17 other alleged crimes involving wildlife laws. On Jan. 22, 2020, he was sentenced to 22 years in federal prison.

Despite his legal battles, many Tiger King viewers have come to see Exotic as a sort of positive figure in pop culture, for his eccentric personality, openness in his sexuality, and out-there outfits. It's clear to anyone who has seen Tiger King that one of Exotic's main missions in life has been to become famous. Now, several husbands, an extremely public feud, a presidential campaign, and a docuseries later, he's gotten that wish.

Netflix was able to interview Exotic from jail on March 22; on April 3, the streamer posted the video on Twitter:

As expected — and explained by Exotic's current husband Passage and Tiger King's directors Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin — Exotic is loving the attention, though he wishes he could experience it firsthand. "You know, it would be nice if I could actually see me being famous out there, but I've seen these same four walls for a year and a half now," he said in the video.

Exotic also got real about what viewers saw in Tiger King, expressing remorse for his actions after being in jail. "Go sit in a cage with your animals for a week. I mean, when I left the zoo and I sent my chimpanzees to the sanctuary in Florida and imagined what my chimpanzees went through for 18 years, I'm ashamed of myself," he said in a message to fans. He also added that he's "done with the Carole Baskin saga." Instead, he has a new life mission: "It's now time to turn the tables and Joe get out of jail a free man and exonerated from all these charges."

In the video, Exotic insisted his personality will "never change," and his apparent confidence in his ability to get out of jail early only backs that up.