Entertainment

Joe Exotic is Dead!…

… dead to me. Can he be resuscitated? That’s up to him.

Based on the number of memes and how much “Joe Exotic” has been trending on Google, I’m guessing that I’m the only person on the planet who hasn’t seen the show Tiger King. At first I wasn’t going to watch it because the most interesting part of it seemed to be Joe’s outfits. I’m not being sarcastic- I like his shirts! But I don’t like his shirts enough to invest my time in watching his show.

I was planning on watching the show if I found the time. Fortunately for me, information about Joe Exotic surfaced before I invested my time in him and his show. Video footage has surfaced indicating that Joe is racist and uses the n-word. Tiger King director Rebecca Chaiklin is quoted as saying “Joe is a racist, I would say categorically” and that he said some things during filming that were “unsettling”. Chaiklin said that Joe’s racist trait and language was cut from the show because it wasn’t relevant to the plot. (https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/netflix-tiger-king-director-joe-exotic-racist-carole-baskin-a9441801.html)

His racism may not be relevant to the show, but it does impact whether some people would choose to watch the show. I’ve decided not to watch the show because I don’t want to support him in any way. This decision is not extreme- I imagine that most people reading this would not support a new project by Bill Cosby, Jussie Smollett, or Harvey Weinstein if any of them were ever given Hollywood redemption. Their personal characteristics do not impact their ability or talent, but the way their characteristics present in their behavior towards others does influence whether we choose to support them.

That’s why I’m glad I was too busy to watch Tiger King and why I do not intend to watch Tiger King. That said, I don’t subscribe to cancel culture so if Joe gives an HONEST AND GENUINE apology and demonstrates that he has changed his mentality towards other people groups I might be open to watching a future iteration of the show. But because his racist attitude was demonstrated during filming of the current Netflix show (but skillfully edited out) I will not watch Tiger King.

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