What Tiger King’s John Finlay Wishes The Docuseries Would Have Shown More

Tiger King john finlay Netflix
(Image credit: Netflix)

Ever since Tiger King came out, the world has been awash in reactions. The internet has had its say, some of its stars have spoken out, and PETA has offered their reaction. One of the leading players in the Netflix sensation is John Finlay, who Tiger King credits as Joe Exotic’s husband turned ex-husband. While he was front and center for much of the drama, Finlay wishes that Tiger King had shown more of certain things.

As many who have researched the situation now know, there are more than a few true facts that did not make the docuseries. John Finlay has his thoughts and wishes as to some other aspects that Tiger King should have included. Finlay thinks there were some positives that the series left out, as he told Variety:

I’d show more of the positive. They never showed that we helped quite a few people with their last, dying wishes to be able to pet a tiger, pet a bear, pet a wolf. That gave me a different outlook on life, why a lot of people do what they do before they go and where I needed to be.

There were bears and wolves at Joe Exotic’s zoo? How did I miss that? Regardless, they were apparently a part of the action, which also included those eponymous tigers. John Finlay shared that he helped make some people’s dying wishes come true by helping to facilitate meetings between those people and the animals, and making sure they could pet the desired wildlife. It is something that Tiger King definitely left out, but probably would have made for another great takeaway had it been shown.

Following Joe Exotic’s incarceration, among other developments, John Finlay’s relationship with Exotic’s zoo is only a memory, but Jeff Lowe (who figures heavily into the later episodes of Tiger King) is trying to re-open the park. In terms of what Finlay recalls of that part of life, is it positive? Finlay weighed in with what some might consider a surprising answer, saying:

Yeah, because the animals are what everyone was really there for. It wasn’t the human factors of it. The animals and the experience are what I’ve missed the most.

John Finlay also wishes that Tiger King had included some other aspects of his life during this time, and wants to clarify some things. He indicates that all was not what it seemed when it came to his personal relationships in the series, with one of those being his marriage to Joe Exotic. Finlay claims he was never actually married to Exotic, who recently called himself “crazy” as ever. So, what else does Finlay want people to know? He said:

I’ve been six years clean since all that was aired. I was never married to Joe or to my baby’s mama — we’re engaged now. They never showed that because they knew I was engaged at the time. They never showed that tattoo fully done. They never showed what it was like to be around the animals or anything. They just focused on the drama.

I have a lot of questions. Thank goodness for that new episode that is about to bow! The uber-popular series left a lot on the table for Finlay and his Tiger King co-stars to address, and here is hoping they will.

It may not have been its initial intention, but Tiger King certainly zeroed in on the human drama that comprised its enthralling seven episodes. It is that aspect (among others) that has led to copious amounts of tweets about the series, which has captured the world’s attention and might not let it go soon.

This is not the first time that John Finlay has had something to say about Tiger King and it will not be the last time people get to hear from him. Remember, that extra episode of Tiger King will include a new interview with Finlay and many other cast members. The Joel McHale-hosted installment drops on Sunday, April 12.

Tiger King is now streaming on Netflix replete with what viewers did see from John Finlay the first time around. The show is one of the streamer's 2020 premieres. If you already binged all of the pop culture phenomenon and are looking for something new to watch, you can check out this spring’s debuts.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.