For those unfamiliar with Joe Exotic (real name Joseph Maldonato-Passage), or the Netflix documentary series Tiger King, the self-described gay, gun-toting redneck rose to prominence in the early 2010s for his personal zoo in Oklahoma where he kept dozens of animals–in particular, tigers–as pets. Exotic, who also moonlighted as a country music singer, developed an intense hatred for Baskin over her criticisms of his zoo. A wild rivalry began, with Exotic accusing Baskin of killing her late husband, and with Baskin suing Exotic for harassment and copyright infringement.
Exotic’s life began to unravel after his marriage to two husbands (the trio had a polygamous relationship) dissolved; one man left Exotic for a woman, and the other committed suicide. Following a failed run for Oklahoma governor, Exotic was arrested for attempting to hire a hitman to kill Baskin.
Baskin has criticized Tiger King for sensationalizing her story, and for misleading characterizations of her animal rescue. McKinnon will appear in a scripted series titled Joe Exotic, the start date of which has yet to be announced.
Tiger King streams on Netflix.