Carole Baskin and her probably very exhausted husband Harold Baskin are now suing Netflix to stop the release of the second season of Tiger King, which is set to premiere on November 17. The Baskins say that they were misled by the filmmakers, and they are alleging breach of contract.
In a headline that seems so inevitable you could have sworn it happened already a year ago, multiple sources report today that Carole and Harold Baskin are suing Netflix in a Florida court and are seeking an injunction to stop the release of Tiger King 2, as the sequel season of the wildly popular Netflix documentary series is being called.
As WFLA reports, in the lawsuit, the Baskins say that filmmakers Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin first approached them on July 18, 2014, asking them to appear in a “feature documentary on the wildlife trade,” and the pair “repeatedly emphasized that the intended goal for the project was to create a single documentary feature film that would be an exposé of the big cat breeding and cub petting trade.”
The breach, the Baskins say, come with the fact that footage taken of them is now being used in a sequel, and this is no longer a "single documentary feature."
Netflix announced Tiger King 2 in September, and released a trailer in which footage of Carole Baskin is featured. As you may recall, a prominent storyline in the first Tiger King that added to the bizarro sordidness of the whole thing was about Baskin's first marriage, and the implication that she might have had something to do with the mysterious 1997 disappearance of her first husband Don Lewis.
As you can see in the trailer below, the filmmakers are now delving further into that story, with people quoted saying "Don liked to play with dangerous stuff" and he was consorting with some "shady characters down in Costa Rica" before he disappeared.
The Baskins repeatedly agreed to be filmed, they say, in 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2019, but they said they were upset to see that the thrust of the finished Tiger King story was about her rival Joe Exotic, and not about her Big Cat Rescue organization.
According to the complaint, "The Baskins believed that any sequel — though odious — would not include any of their footage."
And Carole Baskin claims that when she was contacted by Goode and Chaiklin after the series was released, she refused to talk about any further participation and said, "lose my number."
In a statement, Harold Baskin says, "While we cannot stop Netflix and Royal Goode Productions from producing low-brow, salacious and sensational programming, we do believe that we have the right to control footage filmed of us under false pretenses. We like to believe that most Americans will agree that we should be entitled to protect our reputations in this manner and hold entertainment giants to their word."
As NPR reports, the Baskins request to the judge for an immediate injunction to halt the series release was denied.
"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," wrote U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington in a ruling.
While Baskin may not enjoy the use of her footage in the series, she has certainly not shied away from the spotlight. She and her husband have attended movie premieres, and last fall she appeared on Dancing With the Stars.
Meanwhile, Don Lewis' three daughters, Donna Pettis, Lynda Sanchez, and Gale Rathbone — who appeared in the original Tiger King casting suspicion on Baskin with regard to their father's disappearance — filed an amended complaint to their extant lawsuit against Baskin in September 2020. In that complaint, Lewis's former assistant, Anne McQueen, accuses Baskin of defamation. Baskin tried to cast suspicion on McQueen for Lewis's disappearance in both a YouTube video last year and a blog post on her website.
Harold Baskin used the site to post today about the lawsuit against Netflix.
"Because this is an active litigation matter we will not be doing any interviews about it at this time," he writes.
Top image: Carole Baskin attends the Los Angeles theatrical premiere of "The Conservation Game" on August 28, 2021 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Araya Doheny/Getty Images for NightFly Entertainment, Ltd.)