Is ‘Joe vs Carole’ Based on ‘Tiger King Documentary’? How True is the Story?

Is 'Joe vs Carole' Based on 'Tiger King Documentary

Joe vs. Carole‘ is a black comedy crime drama series centred on Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage (née Schreibvogel) aka Joe Exotic (John Cameron Mitchell) and Carole Baskin (Kate McKinnon).

It delves into their personalities, lifestyles, and experiences that shaped them into the people they are now.

These two gentlemen were already well-known in their fields, but their popularity has risen with the publication of the Netflix documentary ‘Tiger King.’

Joe vs. Carole‘ tells the storey in a more candid and less spectacular way. This is what you need to know if you’re wondering how much of it is true.

Also See: Where is Radha Hirsch, The Star of ‘Tiger King: The Doc Antle Story’?

How Much of Joe vs Carole is a True Story

Is ‘Joe vs. Carole’ Based On True Story?

“While this programme is based on true facts, certain elements of it have been fictionalised primarily for dramatic purposes and are not intended to reflect on any actual person or entity,” says the disclaimer for “Joe vs. Carole.”

This is how ‘Joe vs. Carole’ approaches the storey of these extraordinary and larger-than-life characters.

The show’s creator, Etan Frankel, remarked in an interview that he wanted to examine these characters in a new way, and praised Mitchell and McKinnon for entirely transforming into their roles.

“It’s a fascinating and entertaining voyage into the lives of people who live extraordinary lives,” he remarked.

“I found Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin to be extremely interesting when I began on this project a year and a half ago, and this strange tale of two large cat lovers rapidly became a vital storey for me to convey.”

Carole is depicted in a far more sympathetic light in ‘Joe vs. Carole.’ Its structure allows the creators to go further into the character, emphasising her difficult life.

This includes her first two marriages, her seemingly never-ending feuds with private zoo owners like Joe, and the fallout from the Netflix documentary’s release.

Simultaneously, the show does not shy away from exposing her numerous peculiarities, as well as the fact that she operates the Big Cat Rescue like a ruthless CEO, despite the fact that the majority of the employees are volunteers.

‘Joe vs. Carole’ is about Carole’s second husband, Don Lewis, who mysteriously vanished. Unlike ‘Tiger King,’ however, the Peacock series focuses on Lewis’ relationship with her third and current husband, Howard Baskin, rather than on her fate.

Must Read: Are Carole and Howard Baskin Still Together?

Joe is subjected to the same treatment. His background before the dispute, like Carole’s, is portrayed through flashback scenes. His relationship with his first husband, Brian Rhyne, is described with restraint and sobriety.

Rhyne died in real life from AIDS-related complications, much like in the episode. Joe’s relationships with John Finlay, Travis Maldonado, and Dillon Passage are all depicted with equal care in the episode.

Joe married Finley and Maldonado in a three-way wedding in 2014, as seen in the series, but Finley has since indicated in several interviews that the ceremony was “false” and a “publicity hoax.”

The portrayal of the struggle between the two main characters is also very accurate to what occurred in real life. Carole won her lawsuit against Joe, and the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park was eventually hers.

Meanwhile, Joe was sentenced to 22 years in jail in January 2020 for employing two people to murder Carole, as well as breaching the Lacey Act and the Endangered Species Act.

Joe was resentenced for 21 years in January 2022, therefore the end note indicating that he will be released in 2036 is correct. Joe has also been diagnosed with prostate cancer at stage one.

Must Read: “Murder for Hire” Case: ‘Tiger King’ Star ‘Joe Exotic’ Has Been Resentenced to 21 Years

Is Joe vs. Carole Really Based on Tiger King Documentary

Is ‘Joe vs. Carole’ Based on a Documentary About ‘Tiger King’?

‘Joe vs. Carole’ IS NOT based on the documentary ‘Tiger King.’ Instead, it’s based on Wondery’s ‘Over My Dead Body‘ podcast’s second season. McKinnon stated that she signed on to the project before the Netflix series was released.

McKinnon told Jimmy Fallon on ‘The Tonight Show‘ that, despite never meeting Carole in person, she had meticulously viewed the films the other woman had posted on her YouTube channel, which documented her entire life.

These videos, according to McKinnon, have improved her understanding of Carole. She thought that through watching ‘Joe vs. Carole,’ the audience would gain a better knowledge of Carole Baskin.

“People didn’t really get a full picture of who she (Carole) is, what she’s about, and what she’s gone through,” McKinnon said.