Since Tiger King made its debut on Netflix back in March, news continues to pour out about the series each week. Recently, Joe Exotic’s legal team began their pursuit to have his 22-year prison sentence pardoned by Donald Trump. As well, a TV show about Exotic starring Nicolas Cage and a Tiger King follow-up about Seigfried & Roy have been announced.
Now, Tiger King star John Reinke is sharing his thoughts on Exotic’s portrayal in the series. As well, Reinke is saying he hasn’t received any money for appearing in the viral docuseries.
Last week, Tiger King made some controversial headlines. Despite the coronavirus social distancing restrictions in place, Exotic’s zoo opened up to the public. Naturally, zoo guests appeared to forget what social distancing is and hundreds of people ignored the CDC guidelines.
Now, Reinke, one of the show’s stars, is revealing some behind-the-scenes secrets. On Wednesday, Reinke shared in an interview that most of the cast members were accurately portrayed in the series.
“Everyone was spot on in the show I thought,” Reinke says. “Nobody was misrepresented in any way.”
However, he does say that Exotic is actually different in real life. In fact, Reinke reveals that Exotic is even more over the top than he appears in the show. He claims Netflix decided to tone down Exotic for viewers “because he’s pretty flamboyant.”
Reinke also reveals in the interview that he has not earned a dime from the show despite spending years filming interviews for it. The seven-part series follows the tumultuous life of Exotic and his tigers and was filmed over several years. Alongside Exotic and his enemy Carole Baskin, a number of Exotic’s friends and former employees were also interviewed and filmed over the course of a few years.
Despite the time Reinke gave to the Netflix show, he says he hasn’t made any money from Tiger King. Although he has not received any money, Reinke shares that other individuals on the show have been paid.
“I filmed that thing for five or six years, and didn’t make biscuits out of that,” Reinke says. “Netflix made all the money on that. I have heard that some people made money on it and that kind of irritates me a little bit.”
Back in April, Business Insider reported that over 34 million Americans watched Tiger King in the show’s first 10 days. The viral impact the series has had on the public influenced Netflix’s first-quarter earnings this year. It’s estimated that the streaming service added 16 million subscribers in the first quarter and their profits reached over $709 million. This is almost double their 2019 first-quarter earnings.
Although Netflix has benefited from their shows including Tiger King, Reinke says that he was never involved in the project for the money.
“But I’ve not tried to make money at all through this…until now,” he says.
Netflix has not released any comments or statements regarding the pay Tiger King stars received for the show.
In the interview, Reinke also spoke out about Exotic’s prison sentence. Exotic is currently serving 22 years in federal prison for hiring a hitman to kill Baskin and for more than a dozen wildlife violations including the killing of five tigers.
For Reinke, who worked for Exotic for 14 years, he thinks his prison sentence is too harsh.
“He shouldn’t be in there for 22 years,” Reinke says. “He did do some stuff wrong, but I think he’s done enough time.”
What do you think about John Reinke’s statements? Do you think Joe Exotic is wilder in real life? Let us know in the comments below!