There's a lot to marvel at in the Netflix docu-series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness. Exotic animal smuggling, arson, disappearances, suspected murder and ritualistic cults are just some of the things going on in the show's seven episodes. But there is one aspect that's got viewers hung up: the Walmart meat truck.
The story centers on the now-famous Joe Exotic, who used to run The Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in rural Oklahoma. While it explores some of the often nefarious interconnectedness between his place, and other sanctuaries and private zoos, much of the day-to-day operations were caught on film. This includes the expensive task of feeding 200-plus big cats, along with assorted bears, alligators and other deadly animals. To help offset the cost, Joe Exotic was feeding the cats literal truckloads of expired meat he'd get from Walmart — but that's not all.
Joe Exotic's park has a number of employees, who lived in trailer homes on-site and paid $150 a week (before taxes). To help his employees out, they'd get the first pick of the expired meat, which was often all they had to eat. If that weren't enough, it's later revealed that the animal park would use the expired meat to make pizzas, which were sold to their many customers.
As one might imagine, people had thoughts.
In the event that my 21st bday has to be modified to accommodate the current pandemic situation, I will be hosting a small Tiger King themed party. I will of course be Joe Exotic. This leaves 3 husbands and a Carole. Walmart meat truck pizza will be served. Leopard print optional— leah (@leah_sweet9) March 30, 2020
"[Joe] is absolutely ecstatic about the series and the idea of being famous," Tiger King co-director Eric Goode said about the show's subject, who's currently incarcerated. "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."
Tiger King....Where the heck is the USDA Exotic Animal Agents and permit requirements? Inspections? Animal Control?Health Department? Pizza with expired WalMart truck meat?— Buffy (@Buffy14399915) March 24, 2020
Why isn't anyone talking about how in Tiger King, they fed their staff and customers back of the truck Walmart Meat...— Dominic Tun (@DomTun) March 30, 2020
The Safdie brothers, who released the critical smash Uncut Gems late last year, also had a connection to the series. "We worked for Eric and his turtle conservancy for a few years, then went down to Florida to start what became Tiger King," Benny and Jeff Safdie said. "Only Eric Goode could have made this show."
The Walmart truck meat pizza is a lot to process #TigerKing— Laura (@Laura69840799) March 24, 2020
The show has proved to be a huge smash for Netflix, shooting to the number-one most-streamed show at the moment. It's so popular, in fact, that actors are taking to social media to call dibs on characters to play in the assumed movie adaptation.
Every single person on the Tiger King deserves to be in JAIL. If you didn't eat off the Walmart meat truck, you deserve to be locked up. Saff gets immunity. John R gets immunity. Erik gets immunity. Joshua Dial gets immunity. Everyone else: JAAAIIILLLLLLLL.— little livengood🦎 (@tialivengood) March 30, 2020
THE PIZZA MEAT WAS FROM THE WALMART TRUCK I'M SCREAMING #TigerKing— Aida Ronan 🤠♥️🤠 (@BiStarBucky) March 30, 2020
PETA has also weighed in, and in a lengthy statement said that "Roadside zoos and other tourist traps that exploit lions, tigers, and other animals are often even worse than Tiger King lets on."
"However, the series does a good job of accurately portraying animal exhibitors... as exploiters and abusers who would do anything to keep the money coming in."
Just finished Tiger King. Honestly, what's going to haunt me the most is that they were using the meat from that Walmart truck on the pies in their pizzeria.
Damn near shut it off right there.— Michael Sterczala (@MDSterczala) March 30, 2020
Cardi B, meanwhile, posted on social media that she was going to start a GoFundMe for Joe Exotic, but later clarified "Omg... I was just playing." Though she did clarify that she considered herself a fan of the former roadside zookeeper.
Tiger King: Murder, Madness, and Mayhem is currently available to stream on Netflix.