Why is Joe Exotic threatening to sue the BBC while he’s in jail?
The infamous Joe Exotic is up to no good once again. The criminal has now threatened to sue the BBC for using a song of his in a documentary.
But wait a minute. Who the heck is Joe Exotic, and how is he doing this in jail? Let’s dive into the man’s history and see what this debacle is all about.
Who is Joe Exotic?
Joke Exotic, also known as “The Tiger King” ran the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park (shortened to the G.W. Zoo) for twenty years, from 1998 to 2018. During that time, he claimed to be an expert in the care of large cats. Simple so far, right? Well, this is where things get messier.
In 2018, Exotic was arrested on suspicion of hiring people to murder his rival at Big Cat Rescue, Carole Baskin. The two had a strange and long rivalry, and if we even tried to go into it, we’d be here a while. Just know that they didn’t get along, to say the least.
If you recognize Exotic’s name, it’s probably because he was the main subject of Netflix’s smash hit documentary series, Tiger King (full title: Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness). When Tiger King was released in 2020, it reignited Exotic’s fame as people discussed his history, made memes, and just generally garnered a fanbase around the series.
But now, Joe Exotic is in jail. He was convicted for both violating the Endangered Species Act and for, oh yeah, the attempted murder of his rival. He is currently awaiting a re-sentencing after it was decided his first twenty-two-year sentence was “too excessive” given his crimes.
This is where the next part of our story comes into play. . .
The Shooting Joe Exotic documentary
A new side of the Joe Exotic story has been released, showing us a new side of him, and discussing his crimes in detail.
This is part of BBC Two’s Louis Theroux series, where the titular man investigates various people. It’s highly effective journalism, and he’s interviewed a variety of subjects, from Westboro Baptist Church members to sex workers, to mentally ill mothers. Now, he’s going after Joe Exotic for the latest scoop in Louis Theroux: Shooting Joe Exotic.
The description of the documentary on the BBC website reads as follows:
“A decade on, Louis revisits Joe Exotic – ‘gay hillbilly’, convicted felon & cult figure. He digs deep into Joe’s background, meets Carole Baskin and asks what made the Tiger King.”
Sounds thrilling, even if Joe Exotic is in jail now. However, Exotic wasn’t exactly pleased with the piece. . .
Joe Exotic takes legal action
On October 6th, 2021, Joe Exotic (again, who is still in jail) threatened to sue the BBC via his lawyer, Brad Small. He claims the network used one of his songs, “Here Kitty Kitty” in the program, illegally, without his permission.
The BBC has responded with the following to Metro:
“BBC Studios respects all intellectual property rights and we’ve already been in touch with Mr. Small to explain that our use of the short snippet of the song ‘Here Kitty Kitty’ in the UK version of Louis Theroux: Shooting Joe Exotic is permitted under UK law. It did not appear in the US version of the programme.”
So it doesn’t look like Exotic has a lot of ground to stand on with this case. We’ll keep following, and see where it goes from here. Although Joe Exotic is in jail, he could gain some traction with this legal action.
Was the BBC truly permitted to use one of Exotic’s songs? Will Joe Exotic win his legal case from jail? We’ll have to see. What are your thoughts on this case? Have anything to share? Let us know because we love to hear from you!