Unpopular Opinion: 'Tiger King' Is Horrible

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Unpopular Opinion: 'Tiger King' Is Horrible
Scary Mommy and Netflix

In the history of shows, I don’t remember one exploding like Tiger King has. It’s a craze that’s blowing up the nation, and I had to check it out, even though I could tell from the preview it wasn’t my kind of show.

While I teach my kids not to follow a crowd just because, I don’t always listen to my own advice — and karma always has its way with me. In this case, I suffered through four episodes of what I thought was the most ridiculous show I’ve ever watched in my 44 years of being on this earth. Then, I had about three nights of epic nightmares. This is why I hated the show.

It’s Freaking Cruel

First, I am someone who tried to take my kids to a circus and we ended up leaving. They were all crying as we made our way to the car because they wanted to stay, but I couldn’t bear the cruelty for another second. I didn’t care how much cotton candy I had to buy in order to make it up to them.

I was sitting on the bleachers sobbing because the music was blaring in the animals’ ears and they were getting whipped as a way to get them to do tricks. I couldn’t handle seeing elephants and tigers draped in clothing and jumping through fire. I literally felt like their souls had been sucked out of them.

So, seeing animals in cages — especially the tiny ones that they are trapped in on the show — while people pay a shit ton of money to look at them, makes my blood boil. I despise everything it stands for. It’s obvious that Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin, the two main characters in the show, are only doing this for money. They give zero fucks about the animals. I don’t care what they say.

Hello, These Are Cult Leaders

It’s clear the characters are actually cult leaders. Carole Baskin, the founder of Big Cat Rescue (rescue my ass), has people working long shifts on every major holiday without pay. Oh, and P.S., she’s reportedly a millionaire.

Joe Exotic (I can barely type his name, it’s so obscene) is no better. After his employee Kelci “Saff” Saffery got his arm bitten off by a tiger, one of the first things Joe Exotic said was, “I’m never going to financially recover from this.” That sentence made me throw up in my mouth and chuck things at the television. Nice priorities, Dickwad. Not to mention, he was fine with Saff returning to work just five days after his arm was amputated.

He doesn’t give a fuck if one of his workers just lost a limb. He only cares about how it will affect his business of breeding wild animals for profit (and doing God-knows-what to them when they’re no longer profitable). Fuck arms! Where’s my money?!

And sure, maybe he gives his employees a place to live, but their homes are infested with rats and bugs. There’s no air conditioning and they literally forage food out of the same dumpster where he gets meat to feed his animals.

Then, there’s Dr. Bhagavan Antle, who is the director of Myrtle Beach Safari. Joe Exotic wants to be like him because he has more big cats — and lovers — than Joe does. He manipulates women to live and work for him around the clock (a normal day is 7 a.m. to midnight), telling them to get breast implants and what to wear. Essentially, every aspect of their life is controlled by him. It’s one thing to watch fictional cult shit, but quite another to watch it unfold in real time.

Joe Exotic’s Obsession With Himself

Joe thinks everyone wants to be him. He said it in one of the first episodes, and it was clear throughout the four episodes I was able to choke down that he truly believes it. He’s conceited, delusional, and his obsession with Carole Baskin is scary. I don’t meld well with anyone who thinks their shit doesn’t stink and they are above treating animals and humans with respect.

The Entire Show Made Me Deeply Depressed

That isn’t an exaggeration. I’m an empath and maybe that had something to do with it, but it affected my mood for days. I couldn’t bring myself to watch it until the end. I don’t care if it’s the number one show in America. I don’t want to know if Carole really killed her husband. I’ll leave that to the authorities. I could not watch one more second even though I kept thinking if I watched more, something good would happen and I’d be able to go back to life BTK (Before Tiger King). I am forever scarred from this.

Tiger King made me feel so disappointed and hopeless. I was deeply disturbed about the way these humans treat each other and animals. I just can’t support it in any way.

To each their own, but I’m confused as to why so many people went bonkers over the show and why it’s being talked about — and if I see any more Tiger King paraphernalia, I am going to scream. Pandemic or not, I think this is a terribly disappointing and sad way to spend my time.

I don’t care if people think I need to loosen up and get a sense of humor. I didn’t even smile during one of Joe’s stupid music videos. I find nothing good about the way these animals are living, or how people like Joe and Carole can justify treating people and animals this way. Tiger King is, hands down, the most upsetting show I’ve ever watched.

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