Bhagavan "Doc" Antle is speaking out against his portrayal in Netflix's latest documentary, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness. More than a week after the seven-part docuseries debuted on the streaming platform, the 60-year-old exotic animal keeper, who owns South Carolina zoo Myrtle Beach Safari, hit back at the "salacious" documentary, which has been binged by thousands since its debut.
"Remember, this is not a documentary," Antle said in a video interview with TMX.news, according to PEOPLE. "This is a salacious, outrageous ride through a television show produced to create drama, to just tie you in to some crazy train wreck of a story between the feud of Carole Baskin and Joe Exotic, and the meltdown that ensued between two people who both are far too close to murder themselves, and I think a little bit of madness thrown in on their parts."
Just like fellow series star Carole Baskin, Antle claimed that the series producers pitched him was entirely different from what ended up on screen, the zoo owner explaining that he believed he was participating in a program "purely about a wildlife conservation show about our work that we're doing in Sumatra, Africa to save endangered species there. It was all about how the tigers that we have here have raised so much money that we've been able to go to Sumatra and create a new ranger station there … and that was the documentary that I worked on, and all of that stuff somehow found its way to the cutting room floor."
"It was not mentioned in any capacity that this show that I was working on would portray anything about Carole or Joe," he added. "Questions about Carole and Joe were a dozen or so thrown into hundreds of others, and I repeatedly told them I have no desire to be involved in some show where you've got the feud of Carole and Joe going on, it's not my thing, leave me out of it. Over and over, that was the intention, and that's what we worked towards."
Slamming the series as being nothing more than "outrageous TV," Antle went on to deny allegations brought up in Tiger King that he and other big cat zookeepers euthanize their animals, stating that the producers "pushed several notions" and that "nothing more ridiculous has ever been said. No one does that."
Antle also addressed his portrayal as polygamist with a cult of female employee followers, stating he's "a single guy," whose wife died 25 years ago. "The mother of my son and daughter, my youngest ones, and I've never been married since. I have girlfriends, I'm a single guy."
"This massive judgmentalness (sic) of somehow I'm not supposed to have girlfriends or something is just off my rocker here with how they got to this point," he said. "They are just looking for something to be outrageous. The girls that they are showing throughout the facility … these are the girls that are the wives of staff who live here, these are my grandchildren, these are my grandchildren's fiancés, this are my son's fiancée, this is a variety of ladies who devote their time here that are part of a team. The team is half men. Did you see any men in the series? They cut them all out to make it appear that this is a girl place."
The Tiger King producers have not yet responded to Antle's latest comments.