Netflix released The Tiger King And I, a follow-up aftershow episode to accompany Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, on Sunday morning. The episode is now available to stream for everyone with a Netflix subscription and was added as an eighth episode to the show. It was filmed with social distancing in mind, featuring former The Soup host Joel McHale interviewing many of the people featured in Tiger King.
The coronavirus pandemic made it difficult for Netflix to make a fully-realized follow-up episode for Tiger King following the documentary series' surprising success. The streamer did its best though, announcing The Tiger King And I on Thursday. McHale interviewed Jeff and Lauren Lowe, Saff, Erik Cowie, John Finlay, John Reinke and Rick Kirkham to see how they are handling the series' sudden success and how they felt about their portrayals in Tiger King.
There were two major personalities from Tiger King McHale could not interview. Joseph Moldonado-Passage, also known as "Joe Exotic," was not interviewed because he is now in prison for hiring a hitman to kill Carole Baskin, his rival and the owner of Big Cat Rescue. Netflix did release footage from a very brief jailhouse conversation with him on March 22 in a tweet earlier this month. Moldonado-Passage is in an Oklahoma prison, where he is serving a 22-year sentence for two counts of murder for hire, eight violations of the Lacey Act, and nine violations of the Endangered Species Act.
Another obvious - and unsurprising - omission is an interview with Baskin. Although she was interviewed multiple times by filmmakers Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin, she is now distancing herself from the series. After all, Goode and Chaiklin did devote an entire episode to Moldonado-Passage's theory that Baskin killed her second husband, Don Lewis. Lewis has been missing since 1997 and was declared legally dead in 2002. There is no evidence connecting Baskin to his death, but the case remains open.
"I just feel so angry that people have totally missed the point," Baskin told the Tampa Bay Times last week in her first interview since the series was released. "And the point is these cubs are being abused and exploited and the public is enabling that." Baskin's husband Howard Baskin later added, "There's almost no way to describe the intensity of the feeling of betrayal."
It is easy to understand why Netflix did not let the coronavirus pandemic get in the way of producing a new Tiger King episode. With millions of Americans stuck at home, Nielsen estimated that Tiger King earned more than 34.3 million unique viewers in its first 10 days of streaming. That is more than Stranger Things Season 2, which had 31.2 million viewers in the same period, and just behind Stranger Things Season 3, which had 36.3 million last summer.