Howard Baskin, Advisory Board Chairman
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Carole and Howard Baskin Terminate Netflix Lawsuit
TAMPA, Fla. – December 15, 2021 – During the years from 2014 through 2019 when the producers of Tiger King falsely told us they were making a “Blackfish of big cats” to expose those who were mistreating the cats by using them for cub petting and keeping them in horrible conditions in roadside zoos we signed “releases” giving them the right to use the footage in one “documentary motion picture.” We were very public in expressing our disappointment in the false narrative they actually produced, which had nothing to do with the mistreatment of animals, and falsely painted Joe Exotic as a sympathetic victim and Carole as the villain.
When Chaiklin reached out to us a few months ago to “clear the air” as she put it, we made clear that we were not interested. We assumed they would not be including footage they had taken of us for the original production in Season 2 because they did not have permission under the releases. When the trailer for Season 2 was made public it became clear that they did intend to use film of us despite not being legally entitled to so.
With very limited time to act, we filed suit hoping to obtain an injunction that would prevent them from showing Season 2 unless they removed our footage. The suit was NOT to stop them from showing Season 2. The suit only sought to require them to remove our footage before showing it. We believe they could easily have removed the footage, which we feel would have been the ethical thing to do.
This lawsuit was never about money damages. With the injunction declined Season 2 was aired. It received generally poor reviews and dropped out of the Netflix top 10 rapidly.
We feel we were denied the only meaningful remedy available to us and that pursuing money damages is not the best use of our time because it reduces the time we can spend on our mission of stopping the abuse. Our time should be spent getting the Big Cat Public Safety Act through Congress to stop the cub petting and the private ownership of big cats in backyards. Rather than suing those who produce salacious lies, our time should be spent working on meaningful productions like the award-winning documentary The Conservation Game which exposes the “celebrity conservationists” who bring cubs onto TV talk shows and on our new two-episode series Carole Baskin’s Cage Fight streaming now on discovery+ which authentically shows our work going after these dangerous big cat exploiters. Both of these productions have received very strong positive reviews in contrast to Tiger King Season 2.
For that reason, today we dismissed our lawsuit against Netflix and Goode Productions.