Entertainment

Peta urges producers not to use live animals in Tiger King TV series

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem And Madness explores the bizarre world of big cat breeding in the US.

Animal rights campaigners have urged producers working on a TV drama adaption of Netflix’s breakout Tiger King documentary series not to use live animals.

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem And Madness explores the bizarre world of big cat breeding in the US.

The series has become a huge hit for Netflix, with viewers gripped by its shocking twists and turns and the eccentric cast of characters, including Joe Exotic, a mulleted, gun-toting polygamist.

Tiger King
Netflix’s Tiger King documentary has proven to be a massive hit amid the coronavirus lockdown (Netflix/PA)

A dramatic adaptation is in the works from Universal Content Productions, with Saturday Night Live comedian Kate McKinnon set to play animal rights activist Carole Baskin, the arch enemy of Oklahoma zoo owner Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage.

Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) sent McKinnon and producers a letter saying the use of live animals on TV would undermine Tiger King’s work exposing private zoos.

Lauren Thomasson, Peta’s senior manager of animals in film and television, said: “Netflix’s Tiger King is calling critical attention to the abuse and neglect endured by big cats and other wild animals used for entertainment — progress that will be undone if real wild animals are used in Universal Content Production’s upcoming series.

“We hope you’ll agree that using technology such as CGI or animatronics or existing footage is the only conscionable way of depicting animals for your series.”

Tiger King has proven a massive hit for Netflix, with an army of celebrity fans including Chrissy Teigen, Jared Leto and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Teigen delighted her social media followers by superimposing her one-year-old son Miles’s face on to Exotic’s picture.

Oscar-winning actor Leto is another avowed fan of Exotic, who has proven to be the documentary’s breakout star.

Leto photoshopped his own face on to a picture of Exotic and hosted a Tiger King viewing party on social media.

Rainn Wilson, one of the stars of the US version of The Office, shared an altered photo of his character Dwight Schrute superimposed on to Exotic’s face.

He captioned it: “Dwight Exotic.”

Other famous fans include Paltrow and Cardi B, who have shared their theories on the events of the documentary.

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