Louis Theroux Was Banned From Talking To Tiger King Stars By Producers Who Threatened To Sue For Millions
Louis Theroux has revealed he was threatened by the producers of Netflix’s Tiger King while making his BBC documentary Shooting Joe Exotic.
In the new programme, which aired on BBC Two last night, April 5, Theroux shared a letter he had received from Royal Goodge Productions, which represents the producers of the hit Netflix series.
‘I got an email from a law firm acting on the producers of Tiger King,’ Theroux said, before reading out the contents of the letter.
‘We are writing to point out that the participation of any of these individuals in your programme would violate their exclusive agreements with RGP, and put you in the position of liable for tortious interference with contract,’ he said.
The filmmaker said he didn’t know exactly what that meant, but added that the legal notice threatened ‘possibly millions of dollars in punitive damages’.
Theroux first met Exotic a decade ago while filming his BBC documentary America’s Most Dangerous Pets, however he felt compelled to revisit after the big cat enthusiast’s story became a global phenomenon following the Netflix series.
Of course, those who have seen Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness will know that Exotic – whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage – is currently serving time in prison, after he was found guilty of plotting fellow big cat enthusiast Carole Baskin’s murder.
One of the main people to feature in Theroux’s latest film is Baskin herself, who confessed she was nervous about appearing in the documentary given the light in which she was framed by Tiger King producers.
In the film, Theroux unearthed disturbing footage that showed Exotic ‘ripping a day-old cub from its mother for Korean TV’ and ‘showboating as he prepares to shoot a sick horse on camera in 2013’.
During the clip he can be heard saying, ‘I am perfectly sane, do not cross me,’ while holding the gun to the horse’s head.
‘This footage, which we have chosen to obscure, Joe ran unedited. Watching it all back, there appears to be a growing indifference to the suffering of animals,’ Louis said over the clip. ‘It’s just a possible that Joe was always Joe, just with more cameras around.’
You can stream Louis Theroux: Shooting Joe Exotic on BBC iPlayer now.
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