Netflix's Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness may be all the buzz on social media, but many of the docuseries' subjects are speaking out against it, and the producers are setting the record straight. In a new interview with the Los Angeles Times, co-producer Rebecca Chaiklin denied Bhagavan "Doc" Antle's claims that the seven-part series paid people for interviews.
"We licensed a huge amount of archival footage and personal footage, and we paid for it, the same way we would pay Getty or CNN," Chaiklin explained. "Other than that, we paid for a few locations here or there and a couple of life rights deals, because at a certain point there were like eight other documentaries. Categorically, we do not pay people for interviews."
Antle is the owner of Myrtle Beach Safari, a South Carolina zoo, and was among the people most heavily featured in the series. Although the series largely focused on the rift between Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin, it also showcased Antle's zoo in a less than favorable light, painting a picture of a facility that failed to properly care for its animals and even alluding to a cult.
In his critique, which was shared in a since-deleted Instagram post, Antle had slammed the docuseries as being "sensationalized" and accused the producers of utilizing "paid participants," thus painting a false narrative.
"We are very disappointed that our facility was mentioned in the new Netflix series," his statement read in part. "We can only assume it is because Doc Antle has been such a high profile wildlife personality for so many decades that his association would create more buzz."
"It is important to understand that this series is not a documentary; it's sensationalized entertainment with paid participants. Tiger King is the bizarre story of Joe and Carole and their feud. These characters are not representative of experts in the wildlife sector or world class facilities like ours here in Myrtle Beach," it continued. "Myrtle Beach Safari has been recognized by the state of South Carolina as one of the pre-eminent wildlife facilities in the United States. We've also received international accolades for the critical role we provide with our qualified, captive breeding programs and our global conservation efforts of threatened and endangered species."
Baskin has also slammed the series as being sensationalized and claimed in a recent blog post that the story shown on screen is not what had been pitched to her.
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is available for streaming on Netflix.