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Tiger King: What stars of 'bonkers' Netflix show say about notorious Joe Exotic in new aftershow episode

No one held back when asked about the controversial figure

Jacob Stolworthy
Sunday 12 April 2020 15:02 BST
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Tiger King, Murder, Mayhem and Madness, Official Trailer

Netflix has released The Tiger King and I, a special aftershow episode in which Joel McHale interviews people from the hit documentary series.

Instead of holding back on account of their newfound fame since the show was released last month, the participants took the opportunity to share their honest views on the eccentric figure at the heart of the series, Joe Exotic.

Exotic is currently serving 22 years in prison for hiring someone to kill Carole Baskin as well as for killing tigers to make more room in his Oklahoma reserve, and everyone who spoke on the series agreed he was in the right place.

Nobody bar zookeeper Kelci “Saff” Saffery had anything positive to say about Exotic with head zookeper Erik Cowie, zoo owner Jedd Lowe and TV producer Rick Kirkham especially refusing to hold back.

Below is a transcript of everything that say about Joe Exotic in the Netflix special.

Erik Cowie, head zookeeper

Joe was just an a**hole, man. I mean, you couldn’t talk to him without getting yelled at. He’d run people off in 20 minutes just by the absurdly crass things that would come out of his mouth.

On whether he thinks Exotic should be freed: “No. Not no, but f*** no. Twenty-two years doing federal time – that guy’s gonna die in there. Good riddance.”

Jeff and Lauren Lowe, zoo owners

“We’re getting reports that he’s trying to get to a computer so he can respond to his fans. You know, this is the notoriety and fame that Joe always wanted. It’s pretty ironic that now he’s stuck in a cage and can’t even enjoy it. He’s where he belongs and i would probably just tell him ‘Gotcha’.”

John Reinke, former zoo manager

“He was always belittling somebody He just got to where it was all about the cameras and he’d fire somebody just ‘cause he needed to fire somebody. The man’s done a lot of stupid s***. I mean there towards the end, he got to where he’s blowing everything up. “Hell, he blew up my golf cart and my damn cabin. Knocked the windshield out of my golf cart. Blew a hole in my cabin. Blew the window out.”

On whether he’s contacted Exotic since the series was released: “I have refrained from contacting that man because he don’t know when to shut up, and he’ll just keep talking.”

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Kelci “Saff” Saffery, zookeeper

“I’ve seen Joe give the jacket off his back to people and I think that wasn’t highlighted enough. Joe did a lot of messed up stuff – that’s a fact and that’s shown, and now the entire world knows it. But he did a lot of good things too. I think justice was served, but I still don’t want to see that man die in prison.”

Josh Dial, Joe Exotic’s campaign manager​

About the effect Travis Maldonado’s death had on Exotic: “What Joe did is he spoke to a shaman. I felt like it worsened his condition. I’m all for holistic approaches but sometimes you need real legitimate counselling and medicine and he wasn’t getting it.”

Rick Kirkham, Joe Exotic TV producer

“I don’t think Joe Exotic will leave prison alive. I don’t think he’ll be able to stand it. Even if he got out with good behaviour in 10, 12 years, he won’t live that long.”

“Joe was terrified of big cats. He was scared to death of lions and tigers. In the shots you see where he’s in with the two tigers, the white one is blind and the other one is on tranquilised. it’s idiotic to think how he’s become famous as ‘the tiger king’ when he’s so terrified of big cats.”

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