Tiger King star Joe Exotic seemingly wants to run for President in 2024.
On the lander page for the website, a message reportedly from Exotic decries the current Washington crop of politicians, animal rights group PETA, and his on-screen nemesis Carole Baskin. In the missive to potential backers, Exotic states he wants “to finally give you a voice and your freedom back without fear of living in a country that thinks they own you”.
Exotic was convicted in a case involving animal welfare activist Baskin, with the former zookeeper accused of trying to hire two different men to kill Baskin. Both were featured in Netflix’s Tiger King.
Maldonado-Passage, who has always maintained his innocence, was also convicted of killing five tigers, selling tiger cubs and falsifying wildlife records. He was re-sentenced to 21 years in prison in 2022, reducing his punishment by just a year despite pleas from the former zookeeper for leniency as he begins treatment for early-stage cancer.
Exotic addresses both his imprisonment, and the crimes he has been convicted of in the letter. He writes: “Thank you for your interest in my Campaign. Yes, I know I am in Federal Prison and you might think this is a joke but it’s not. It is my Constitutional right to do this even from here.
“I have been put here only because of the corruption in the Department of Justice, three felons that were told how to lie under oath to further this agenda, two corrupt Assistant U.S. Attorneys, two corrupt FBI Agents. and one corrupt Federal Wildlife Agent.”
He goes on to add: “The only thing I did was put five very old, crippled tigers to sleep in the most humane way possible and it was approved by my USDA Inspector, so it’s time to get over it. PeTA kills thousands of animals a year. Carole has killed over 226 big cats and most of you eat some kind of animal everyday, so it’s time to move past this issue [sic].”
Exotic ends the letter with a plea for people to “put aside” what he perceives may be stumbling blocks for election, asking the reader to ignore his sexuality, his felonies and prison sentence; his history of drug addiction; and the fact “that Carole hates my guts”. The one-time Tiger King adds:
“I have people in mind that can help run this country a hell of a lot better then they are now, so lets cross that bridge when we get to it.” However, he does not indicate who these people might be.
A statement at the end of the letter acknowledges that the website has been paid for “by the Joseph Maldonado to Free America Committee,” and also has the Libertarian Party logo displayed at the bottom of the home page – which follows the landing page message.
Exotic isn’t the only controversial celebrity hoping to be elected in 2024. Kanye West also launched a bid last year, stating: “I believe that my calling is to be the leader of the free world. It was something that God put on my heart back in 2015.”