The infamous Carole Baskin has dropped her lawsuit against Netflix, with her legal team citing the poor reviews of the Tiger King series’ second season, but hasn’t completely withdrawn.
Carole Baskin had been vocal in her displeasure in how the first season of Tiger King depicted her as “a murderer who … disposed of her late husband’s remains by feeding them to her big cats,” according to the Baskin family. They also claim it depicted her own business as the “ethical and moral equivalent of Joe Exotic’s roadside zoo.” Another qualm of the Baskin family and legal team is that they hadn’t contractually agreed for the second season to feature footage of them – and wanted to make the series or advertising does not feature footage of them or their Big Cat Rescue facility.
When the Tiger King 2 trailer arrived, Baskin immediately sued Netflix and the production company Royal Goode Productions for the aforementioned reasons and wanted all footage of her stricken from the second series. The same day of the Baskin team’s decision to sue, the judge had rejected the emergency motion for a temporary restraining order.
Judge Virginia Hernandez Covington wrote, “While the Court understands the Baskins’ frustration, it does not appear that inclusion of Defendants’ footage of the Baskins will cause any immediate harm that cannot be compensated with monetary damages.”
U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas G. Wilson found that the Baskins could not demonstrate that they’d suffer irreparable harm from the footage shown in the Netflix original’s second season. The judge continued that “at this juncture, it does appear that the plaintiffs have stated a cognizable claim for breach of contract,” he writes. “However, the impairment of free speech pending resolution of this case, as well as the other preliminary injunction factors, weigh greatly in favor of denying the requested preliminary injunction.”.
While Netflix and Royale Good filed a motion to dismiss the complaint or have the matter moved to a New York court, the Baskins had already dropped the case on November 23. A bit over a week later, Baskin withdrew the preliminary injunction motion and filed a notice of voluntary dismissal on Wednesday. The case could still go ahead later on but is unlikely.
The Hollywood Reporter spoke to the Baskin’s attorney, who directed them to the Big Cat Rescue site and posts by Carol Baskin and her partner around their decision to walk away from the legal battle. The statement reads, “This lawsuit was never about money damages,” continuing with “With the injunction declined Season 2 was aired. It generally received poor reviews and dropped out of the Netflix top 10 rapidly.”.
Whether or not the poor reception and views indeed led to the withdrawal is unknown – one could assume the true cause was the case already being slightly thin and possibly not worth the legal fees to go ahead with. The statement echoed some of this sentiment, stating, “We feel we were denied the only meaningful remedy available to us and that pursuing money damages is not the best use of our time because it reduces the time we can spend on our mission of stopping the abuse.” Nevertheless, Baskin’s apparent dedication to her work does seem somewhat genuine, albeit likely tainted by the initial failures of first legal junctions.
The statement finishes with the Baskims reaffirming their dedication to having the Big Cat Public Safety Act passed through Congress and working on their own multimedia productions. Then, in one last Hail Mary, stating that” “both of these productions (The Conservation Game, CarolBaskin’s’s Cage Fight) have received very strong positive reviews in contrast to Tiger King 2.