Carole Baskin is suing Netflix for 'Tiger King 2' footage

Big Cat Rescue founder and her husband have taken umbrage at the streaming service using clips of them in the new season trailer

Carole Baskin, left, is suing Netflix for using footage of her and her husband in the 'Tiger King 2' trailer. The show centres on her arch enemy Joe Exotic. Photos: Netflix
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There's Superman versus Lex Luthor, Sherlock Holmes against Professor Moriarty, Batman facing off with the Joker, and perhaps most famously in 2021, Carole Baskin and Joe Exotic – except that they're real people, and now there's a new twist in the arch enemies' stranger-than-fiction feud.

Carole Baskin, founder of Big Cat Rescue, and her husband, Howard Baskin, have taken legal action in Florida against Royal Goode Productions and Netflix, after footage of the pair was used in the trailer of Tiger King 2.

The second season of the wildly popular documentary, which was first shown during the pandemic, is scheduled to be released on November 17.

The couple filed a suit against the companies they claim breached contract by continuing to use the clips, since they only signed appearance release forms for the first documentary, according to Variety.

FILE - In this July 20, 2017 file photo, Carole Baskin, founder of Big Cat Rescue, walks the property near Tampa, Fla. Baskin was married to Jack “Don” Lewis, whose 1997 disappearance remains unsolved and is the subject of a new Netflix series “Tiger King.” (Loren Elliott/Tampa Bay Times via AP, File)

"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,” the lawsuit states. “By utilising 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.”

'Tiger King 1' was particularly harsh and unfair in its depiction of the Baskins and Big Cat Rescue
A statement from the Baskins's lawsuit

The Baskins are demanding that both parties remove any and all footage of them from the second season, and are seeking to take the case in front of a jury, according to the documents.

Carole has not been shy about her disdain for the new season of the show. She has described it as "a reality show dumpster fire".

In the lawsuit, Carole lists other issues with the series, saying it was first described to her as “an expose of the big cat breeding and cub petting trade akin to the documentary feature film entitled Blackfish”. It is, however, more centred on her rival Exotic, aka Tiger King, and his Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park.

Joe Exotic in 'Tiger King'. Photo: Netflix

Tiger King 1 was particularly harsh and unfair in its depiction of the Baskins and Big Cat Rescue," the lawsuit continues. "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."

The lawsuit also says the "most pernicious" implication is that Carole was involved in the disappearance of her first husband, Don Lewis, in 1997, an accusation she has repeatedly denied.

Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence in Fort Worth, Texas, after being found guilty of several federal charges of animal abuse and two counts of attempted murder.

Netflix has not yet commented on the matter.

Updated: November 02, 2021, 8:18 AM