President Donald Trump may be considering a pardon for Joe Exotic. The Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness star, whose real name is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence for 17 counts of animal abuse and two counts of murder-for-hire.
At a press briefing on Wednesday, a reporter spoke to Trump about Netflix's unprecedented success with the seven-part series. Part of which stems from the fact that people across the globe are staying home to help slow the spread of coronavirus. He then mentions that Exotic has already asked the president for a pardon, and asked "I was wondering if you'd seen the show and if you had any thoughts on pardoning him." The president admitted he hadn't seen the show, but eventually said he'll "take a look."
A reporter just asked if Trump would pardon Joe Exotic from Tiger King and Trump said, "I will take a look." pic.twitter.com/f0c0R8QmDy— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) April 8, 2020
Back in March, Exotic requested that the president excuse his 19 total federal charges, which came at the same time that he filed a $94 million lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as his former business partner Jeff Lowe and James Garretson, who was a confidential informant for the prosecution. In a lengthy Facebook post, Exotic wrote that he had been "illegally charged with these crimes and the Trump Administration, the United States Department of Interior along with the Federal Wildlife service must be held accountable for what they have done to me, my parents and my family, along with my animals."
However, Exotic's relationship with Trump began before he was sworn into office. Back in 2016, Exotic recorded videos almost daily to his YouTube Channel, ExoticTV, where he weighed in with his own political perspective. While he regularly addressed "all the candidates," he did focus an inordinate amount of time on then-candidate Trump. He picked up the habit again in late 2019 and early 2020, though those were aimed more directly at the president.
Since its premiere on March 20, the series has proven to be a massive success for Netflix, bringing in more than 34 million viewers in its first 10 days on the platform and all but guaranteeing a sequel.
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness is currently available to stream on Netflix.