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Tiger King became a national obsession overnight and, now a month later, Joe Exotic is a household name. Many have their thoughts and opinions about the former big cat owner and the rest of the colorful characters featured in the docuseries and, apparently, Joel McHale learned a lot of those opinions when he got some backlash from the after-show special he hosted.
Joe McHale's post Tiger King special featured interviews from some of the people featured in the docuseries and gave the subjects a chance to answer fan questions and perhaps also defend themselves. Following the special, McHale was shocked to learn that some viewers had a real problem with one particular question he asked, and he's still confused by it:
People gave me such shit for asking if Joe Exotic should be in jail, and I was like 'That doesn't seem like a real hard-hitting gotcha question.' They were like 'How dare you, how dare you,' and I was like 'He had 19 felonies of animal abuse?'
Joe Exotic is many things but, in the eyes of the law and Joel McHale, completely innocent is not one of them. Regardless of what Tiger King viewers think, Joe Exotic was tried and convicted of a crime and, per the laws of our country, has to serve time in prison for the various crimes he was found guilty of.
In short, Joel McHale made it clear on Conan that he wasn't sorry he asked the question but does think he understands why so many took issue with it. Tiger King is an outlandish story that feels like a made up television series, but it's actually real life. Characters like Riverdale's Archie Andrews can commit felonies without much consequence, but that's not how things work in the real world:
It's a weird thing because I think people see them as characters and not necessarily as human beings.
Maybe not everyone feels that way about Tiger King, though there's no denying others have treated the series as though it were a work of fiction. It's not often the real-life felons have celebrities dress up as them and have a TV series that receives widespread acclaim. Some have even proclaimed Joe Exotic to be a hero, which is not something you'd typically hear of any person accused of murder-for-hire. Joe Exotic may be a popular person at the moment, but that popularity shouldn't make him immune to criticism as Joel McHale has shown.
Those who still haven't seen Tiger King can currently check it out on Netflix. Of course, always stick with CinemaBlend for more on what's coming to Netflix and other streaming services, and for the latest happening in the world of television and movies.