Baskin, the CEO of Big Cat Rescue, and her husband, Harold Baskin, filed a lawsuit against Royal Goode Productions and Netflix in the U.S. District Court in Tampa on Monday 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 that 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 is currently serving 22 years in prison after being convicted of animal abuse and a murder-for-hire plot involving Baskin. The rivalry between Exotic and Baskin was the subject of “Tiger King.”
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.”
The Baskins are also asking for legal fees to be reimbursed.
Nexstar reached out to Netflix for comment but did not hear back before publishing time.