Less than two weeks after its release, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, quickly turned into the No. 1 thing to watch on Netflix's top 10 rankings. It couldn't have been had better timing, since so many families are staying home in quarantine in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and now, Joe "Exotic" Maldonado-Passage is "over the moon" to be famous.
It's no secret that Joe loves being in the spotlight, but now Tiger King co-directors and writers, Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin, are confirming that after doing an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
"... He is absolutely ecstatic about the series and the idea of being famous," Goode said after revealing that they had been in touch with him quite a bit over the last few weeks. "He's absolutely thrilled. I think he's trying to be an advocate for — no surprise — criminal justice reform. He is in a cage and of course he's gonna say that he now recognizes what he did to these animals."
The director went on to say they they have "empathy for him" but doesn't fail to recognize that "he's someone who really knows what to say at the right moment."
Chaiklin added, "... He's over the moon. Having kept in pretty close touch with him while he's been in a horrible county prison, this has raised his spirits. Joe definitely did some horrible things to his animals. He was very abusive to them and he shot five tigers, no question about it. But what has happened to him has also been hard."
As for Jeff Lowe, Goode believes that he'll struggle to open the new zoo after the release of Tiger King, also adding that he's now trying to solicit money from former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal, saying, "My guess is — and this may be unfair for me to say this — I think he's gonna struggle to get it open. Obviously, in our current state of affairs, I doubt a lot of people are going to these places. I doubt he has much in the way of ticket sales. I don't know what Jeff Lowe's balance sheet is, but if he's trying to solicit money from Shaquille O'Neal ... which is absurd. I can't see how Shaquille O'Neal's handlers would allow him to invest."
O'Neal explained on his podcast The Big Podcast with Shaq how everything went down with his visits to the zoo admitting after a few times, he stopped going after he found out what they were doing to the tigers. "We went back a couple times, then we go back another time and we found out that he's involved with all the stuff and then, actually, I stopped going. I had no idea all that stuff was going on."