Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness got shut out at the 72nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. Fans are struck that the wildly-popular Netflix series didn’t manage to land a single prize during the awards show. But, it could be a case of something that does very well with viewership not translating to the judges. Joe Exotic’s tale seemed to be all anyone could talk about early in the quarantine period due to the coronavirus pandemic. Tiger King was up for Best Documentary or Nonfiction Series, Tiger King took home nominations for Directing for a Documentary or Nonfiction Program, Picture Editing for a Nonfiction Program, Music Composition for a Documentary Series or Special, Sound Editing for a Nonfiction or Reality Program, and Sound Mixing for a Nonfiction or Reality Program.
Directors Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin had a bit of a conundrum on their hands as Joe Exotic became a cult hero for millions of people. However, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter they wanted to make sure that everyone understands he’s a bad person. There’s no question that people who believe animals should be treated better would agree with them on that. However, the popularity of the show endures to the point multiple versions are in the works.
Chaiklin responded, “Yes. Joe is a racist, I would say categorically. He said things when we were filming that were very unsettling… They didn’t have a context in the story, but he has a lot to learn. I think most of it was ignorance and not having a lot of exposure and I think he even evolved over the course of the time that we filmed.”
Good also offered, “I would say it’s very important for people to know this that there seems to be an overwhelming amount of empathy for [Joe's current husband] Dillon. We had empathy for Joe, but Joe did a lot of horrible things. Joe committed some really serious crimes and Joe was not only cruel and inhumane to his animals, he was cruel to the people around him. I think it’s very important for people to understand that Joe is an actor and he tells people what they want to hear. As much as we have some empathy for Joe and found Joe to be such an incredible character — this mullet-wearing country singer in Oklahoma — he did a lot of horrible things.”
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