Sorry, Tiger King fans. If any of you were hoping that Joe Exotic was going to be out of jail and ready to film "Tiger King 2: Wildlife Boogaloo" by the summer are going to have a whole lot longer to wait. The focus of the disgustingly popular docuseries found out the hard way this week that he wasn't getting a pardon from a thankfully-departing Donald Trump– when his name wasn't included on the list of 143 pardons and commutations that were handed out. The harsh reality was even harsher for Exotic, who assumed a pardon was on the way after Donald Trump, Jr. mentioned the pardon idea earlier last year, with his daddy saying he would "take a look" at Exotic's case. Well, it looks like Exotic knows exactly why he was overlooked- at least he thinks he knows exactly why he was overlooked.
"I was too innocent and too GAY to deserve a Pardon from Trump," posted the 57-year-old Exotic aka Joseph Maldonado-Passage. "I only mattered to Don Jr. when he needed to make a comment about me to boost his social media post. Boy were we all stupid to believe he actually stood for Equal Justice? His corrupt friends all come first." If you're one of the few people who haven't seen the docuseries, it's definitely worth a view if for no other reason than it does a great job of making you forget that what you're watching is real and not from a Coen Brothers film.
But to be clear, it's not so much that Exotic has a problem with Trump giving favors to his "corrupt friends" so much as he's upset that he's not one of those "corrupt friends" Trump would do a favor for. Just how screwed up is the whole thing? As if the name "Tiger King" wasn't enough of a flashing light to let you know you were about to travel somewhere over the rainbow, the person pissed off about not getting their "hard-earned pardon" was someone serving a 22-year sentence for taking part in a murder-for-hire plot and for violating wildlife laws.
Just how sure was Exotic and his lawyers that he was getting a pardon from Trump? Reporter/anchor Ken Molestina from CBS 11 News in Dallas/Fort Worth did a great job tracking the celebration that would never be. Here's where Molestina's Twitter coverage started- followed by a statement from a representative from Exotic's "inner circle."
One person not shedding any tears on Wednesday (crocodile or otherwise with a bonus point for the animal joke) was Exotic's arch-nemesis and zoo owner Carole Baskin. Speaking with FOX News (because of course), Baskin said, "I'm taking a deep breath because I feel such a sense of relief. From the very time that he was sentenced, I have worried about there being a presidential pardon that could undo all of the hard work that went into bringing this person to justice. When today at noon a new president was sworn in, I felt like I was finally safe from that threat."