TAMPA (WFLA) — Netflix won’t have to worry about Carole Baskin and her husband’s lawsuit, which seeks to pull the plug on the Nov. 17 launch of “Tiger King 2” — at least for now.
A judge with the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida denied the couple their request for a temporary restraining order.
“While the Court understands the Baskins’ frustration, it does not appear that inclusion of Defendants’ footage of the Baskins will cause any immediate harm that cannot be compensated with monetary damages,” said Senior Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington.
“Importantly, the Court merely finds that the Baskins are not entitled to the extraordinary remedy of a temporary restraining order, which would be entered before Defendants have had an adequate opportunity to respond,” the judge added.
According to the ruling, “The Court takes no position on whether the Baskins will be able to establish entitlement to a preliminary injunction.”
Carole Baskin had insisted footage of her and Big Cat Rescue be pulled from the upcoming “Tiger King” sequel.
Baskin, the CEO of Big Cat Rescue, and her husband Harold, filed a lawsuit Monday against Royal Goode Productions and Netflix in the U.S. District Court in Tampa, alleging breach of contract and demanding that an injunction be placed to stop the release of the series on Nov. 17, and to eliminate the trailer promoting it.
In the lawsuit, the Baskins claim filmmakers Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin originally approached them on July 18, 2014, to appear in a “feature documentary on the wildlife trade” and “repeatedly emphasized that the intended goal for the project was to create a single documentary feature film that would be an exposé of the big cat breeding and cub petting trade.”
The Baskins agreed to participate in filming in 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2019 with more than 50 hours of footage involving the Baskins and Big Cat Rescue.
The couple said they were then surprised that the filmmakers had changed the subject and thrust of the documentary film — which they believed was to feature Carole Baskin as a heroic animal advocate — to a series about Joe Exotic.
Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, is currently serving 22 years in prison after being convicted of animal abuse and a murder-for-hire plot involving Baskin. The rivalry between Maldonado-Passage and Baskin was the subject of the 2020 Netflix docuseries “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.”
According to the lawsuit, Goode and Chaiklin contacted the Baskins asking to meet to “clear the air” and presumably seeking to secure their participation in the sequel. Baskin’s response was clear and unequivocal according to the document: “No. And lose my number.”
“While we cannot stop Netflix and Royal Goode Productions from producing low-brow, salacious and sensational programming, we do believe that we have the right to control footage filmed of us under false pretenses,” Harold Baskin said in a statement. “We like to believe that most Americans will agree that we should be entitled to protect our reputations in this manner and hold entertainment giants to their word.”
However, a lawsuit down the road is still possible, according to the judge.