Before COVID-19 became completely overwhelming, before murder hornets ruled the memes, and before protests spread across the world to fight racial injustice, there was a simpler time. Back in March, the only things you could find anyone talking about were a gay redneck named Joe Exotic, some tigers and “that bitch Carole Baskin.” Netflix’s Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness had a record run at #1 on the Top 10 list and kept the entire world captivated for well over a month, and though the show isn’t such a common topic of conversation anymore, Exotic isn’t ready to quiet down just yet.
In a letter released from prison, where he’s serving time for animal abuse and plotting to have his nemesis Carole Baskin killed, Exotic states that he’s dying and won’t live more than a few more months if he’s not released. He then goes on to beg for the assistance of Kim Kardashian, Cardi B, and President Donald Trump before he perishes in his cell.
Part of the long and impassioned letter reads:
My soul is dead, I struggle everyday to hold on to what little hope I can find. They keep me locked down 24/7 with no phone, email or commissary and you will never understand the mental abuse this does to a person. I don’t even know if I’m married anymore. Seems everyone is so busy making money and being famous I don’t even get a letter from Dillon. Everyone sends pictures of him having fun and all but as a person screaming for help I am asking you to stop. Please stop.
As most people know, I was born with CVID (not COVID-19) and [hypogammaglobulinemia] and required blood infusions every 4 weeks. I have not had one since end of January. I’m losing weight, sores won’t heal, I’ll be dead in 2-3 months. It’s like I have been sent to death row. They stopped all of my medication except one. This place is hell on earth.
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Of course, this isn’t the first time conversations regarding Joe Exotic and Donald Trump have cropped up. Trump stated earlier this year that he’d look into Exotic’s case and see if he was able to be pardoned. It’s admittedly unlikely that Trump’s focus would be on Exotic right now in a time of global turmoil, especially when he’s already drenched in so much controversy regarding his handling of the ongoing protests and unrest in America. Still, if this year has taught us anything, it’s that we’re living in unprecedented and unpredictable times.
There’ve been rumors of a second season of Tiger King for a while now and various celebrities have adaptations in the works. Perhaps most notably, Nicolas Cage has been granted the role of Joe Exotic in the upcoming NBC show about the controversial and utterly insane events that took place at the big cat owner’s zoo. So, while the future of Exotic himself may be in question, his name and story won’t be disappearing for quite a while.