'Tiger King' Star Doc Antle Hits Out At Cub Killing And Harem Allegations
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Featured Image Credit: Netflix
Tiger King's Doc Antle is the latest star to bash the documentary for making "salacious" claims.
Dr. 'Doc' Bhagavan Antle, owner of Myrtle Beach Safari, is one of the big cat world's key players featured in the buzzed-about Netflix documentary.
In it, we heard interviewees make claims about the breeder, including that he euthanised tiger cubs when they were no longer of petting age, and that he held a harem of nine wives at his South Carolina safari estate.
Now, the 60-year-old has refuted these claims, calling the documentary a "salacious outrageous ride through a television show produced to create drama."
Speaking to TMX News, Doc said that filmmakers Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaikli approached him two and half years ago to make a documentary about his park and its conservation efforts.
"It was not mentioned in any capacity that this show that I was working on would portray anything about [his rivals Joe 'Exotic' Maldonado-Passage and Carole Baskin]. [They asked me a] dozen or so questions about Carole and Joe thrown into hundreds of other [questions].
He goes on: "I repeatedly told them I have no desire to be involved in some show where you've got the feud of Carole and Joe going on. It's not my thing. Leave me out of it... Everything went sideways in a great big explosive entertaining way. But it certainly is not a documentary and full of a whole pack of untruths."
First, Doc addressed claims made in the film that he had his tiger cubs killed when they no longer served a purpose as petting cubs during season meet-and-greets at his park. "Euthanising cubs is illegal, immoral, and absolutely never happens here and never has," he said.
In the documentary, many of Doc's associates claimed he had multiple wives and girlfriends who live with him at his park - however, Doc says he never remarried after his wife and mother of his two children died 25 years ago.
"I have girlfriends. I'm a single guy - just massive judgmentalness of somehow I'm not supposed to have girlfriends or something is just off my rocker here how they got to this point," he told the outlet.
"The girls that they're showing throughout the facility, these are the girls who are the wives of staff who live here. These are my grandchildren. These are my grandchildren's fiancée. This is my son's fiancée. This is a variety of ladies who devote their time here, they are part of the team.
"And the team is half men. Did you see any men in the series? They cut them all out to make it appear this is a girl place. This is a boy place. The star is my son and my grandson. There are lovely hardworking girls here that take care of this facility and they are stars in their own right."
Filmmakers spoke to former employee Barbara 'Bala' Fisher who claimed Doc groomed his female workforce - including her - and would offer promotions in exchange for sex.
The former park worker also says she told how to cut and colour her hair and was pressured to get breast implants, only agreeing because it meant she would get a few days off of work to heal.
However, Doc claims Barbara was nothing more than a babysitter. "This is a girl who was a part-time babysitter here," he says.
"She came in, watched my kids, got pregnant, moved off to marry the gentleman she got pregnant from. I only knew her for that short time. She went away. A year later, she came back, taught school for my kids a little bit, played around the edges of it. She was never a tiger trainer, never a tiger person."
Doc also spoke about Joe Exotic, the titular character of the documentary, who is currently serving 22 years in prison for the murder-for-hire plot of his rival Carole Baskin.
"I would hope that in his appeal maybe something else comes to light," he told the channel. "I think Joe was prosecuted for things that no one else has been prosecuted for in the United States. And I found it odd that it was tacked on to what I believe was a very flimsy murder-for-hire scam that went along."
Antle's criticism follows that of animal activist Carole Baskin, who said filmmakers had "the sole goal of being as salacious and sensational as possible to draw viewers." In a statement on her website, she criticised how the subject of her former husband Don Lewis's disappearance was handled.
Meanwhile, Joe Exotic's former husband John Finlay bashed filmmakers for not showing his newly-fixed smile. In the documentary, Finlay was shown with missing teeth on account of his drug use.
"Yes, I have my teeth fixed," he wrote his self-created Facebook rampage, titled The Truth About John Finlay. "The producers of the Netflix series had video and pictures of this, but chose not to show it. It's all about the ratings for them, not the people they hurt."