Tiger King: Joel McHale responds to ‘weird’ backlash over Joe Exotic question in Netflix special

Comedian said he got ‘such s***’ for suggesting tiger trader deserves his prison sentence

Ellie Harrison
Friday 01 May 2020 15:31 BST
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Joel McHale has expressed surprise over the backlash he received for one of his questions on Netflix’s Tiger King special.

The comedian hosted The Tiger King and I, a bonus episode of the hugely popular documentary about the feud between cat trader Joe Exotic and animal rights activist Carole Baskin.

Many fans criticised McHale for suggesting Exotic should be in jail. Exotic is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for his involvement in a murder-for-hire plot and numerous animal abuse charges.

“People gave me such s*** for asking if Joe Exotic should be in jail, and I was like, that doesn’t seem like a hard-hitting geyser question,” McHale told Conan O’Brien. “They were like, ‘How dare you.’ and I was like, ‘19 felonies? Animal abuses?’”

He added: “It was a weird thing because I think people see [Tiger King subjects] as characters and not necessarily human beings.”

Tiger King, which was released on Netflix in March, was described by viewers as “absolutely bonkers”.

For more documentaries to watch if you liked Tiger King, check out our list.

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