“Tiger King Is Not Blackfish”

It’s the tiger you should care about.

This is why I have resolutely avoided the series and the ensuing “Tiger King” craze. I didn’t care if it was Blackfish. But I did care if it put the plight of the animals at the heart of the story. And it doesn’t:

Many of the interview subjects featured in “Tiger King” say the story was presented to them as one that would expose the problem of private big cat ownership in this country, following in the tradition of many conservation-themed documentaries. Some in the film even say Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin, the show’s co-directors and co-producers, claimed to be making the big cat version of “Blackfish,” the award-winning 2013 documentary that spurred widespread backlash against SeaWorld.

“Tiger King,” however, “is not the ‘Blackfish’ of the big cat world,” said Manny Oteyza, the producer of “Blackfish.”

Instead, big cats and the issues affecting them are completely lost in the show’s “soap opera-esque drama,” Dr. Nasser said.

Film-makers make lots of artistic and subjective choices. But when truth and compassion get abandoned in the effort to amp up the entertainment, then that is a deal-breaker.

I don’t see any real outcry about roadside zoos keeping exotic animals. I do see lots of attention being paid to Joe Exotic, and whether Trump should pardon him. What more do you need to know about the impact of the series?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: