Carol Baskin filed a lawsuit against streaming giant Netflix for using footage of her in the platform’s upcoming series Tiger King 2, a documentary on big cat breeding and the unusual practices that are tied to it. Baskin is an American big cat rights activist who is also the CEO of Big Cat Rescue, a non-profit animal sanctuary located in Tampa, Florida.
Baskin filed the lawsuit on Monday in Tampa, Florida, against Netflix and the production company Royal Goode Productions. Based on the information cited in the lawsuit, Baskin claims that the production company breached the contract by continuing to use her footage for the second part of the docuseries. According to her, she and her husband only signed appearance release forms for the first Tiger King.
“Understanding that the Appearance Releases limited Royal Goode Productions’ use of the footage of the Baskins and Big Cat Rescue to the single, initial documentary motion picture, the Baskins believed that any sequel—though odious—would not include any of their footage” the legal document stated.
The Baskins were shocked to find out that footage of them was still part of Tiger King 2. “The Appearance Releases limited Royal Goode Productions’ right to use film footage of the Baskins to ‘a documentary motion picture.’ Throughout the Appearance Releases, there is only reference to and mention of ‘the Picture.’ No mention is made of granting Royal Goode Production sequel rights, rights to create derivative works from ‘the Picture’ or additional seasons or episodes,” the lawsuit reads. “By utilizing the film footage of the Baskins and Big Cat Rescue secured by Royal Goode Productions under the Appearance Releases in ‘sizzle reels’ and promotional trailers for the sequel entitled Tiger King 2, the Defendants are in breach of the terms of the Appearance Releases.”
The lawsuit also reflects Baskin’s disapproval and hesitations about the docuseries. She alleges that the project was originally supposed to be an exposé similar to the Blackfish, a documentary film that exposed the controversy surrounding killer whales in captivity.
“Tiger King 1 was particularly harsh and unfair in its depiction of the Baskins and Big Cat Rescue. The ‘Tiger King 1’ series wrongly attempted to suggest that Big Cat Rescue abused its animals by keeping them in very small cages while not making clear that the animals actually reside in expansive enclosures,” the lawsuit further stated. “Also, Tiger King 1 incorrectly suggests an equivalency between Big Cat Rescue and Joe Exotic’s roadside zoo, and more broadly that there is no difference between roadside zoos that exploit and mistreat animals and accredited sanctuaries that rescue and provide excellent lifetime care to the animals. Perhaps most pernicious is the overarching implication in Tiger King 1 that Carole Baskin was involved in the disappearance of her first husband in 1997.”
Up to this day, Baskin maintains that she had no hand in the disappearance of her former husband. Netflix is set to release Tiger King 2 this coming November 17. The streaming giant remained mum about the lawsuit and refused to give any comment at the moment.