Florida has not been good to Joe Exotic.
On X, Joe posted (xed?) from prison that he was NOT chill about Florida State QuarterBack Jordan Travis using the nickname “Tiger King.”
Joe Exotic meteorically collided into fame in 2020 when the groundbreaking documentary Tiger King hit Netflix right as pandemic lock downs were beginning, March 20, 2020. To call Tiger King a success would be the understatement of a generation. The documentary was not only part of the zeitgeist, it was the zeitgeist. Not only was the unbelievable story full of twists, turns and shocking revelations but Joe Exotic himself was such a vibrant character (amongst a cast of extremely vibrant characters) that America simply could not look away. Further, the documentary crew truly innovated the genre. Players in the story were interviewed in their natural habitat but the producers knew how to create a zany, hilarious, off-kilter spirit. For example, one person is interviewed while sitting in his bathtub. No reason is given.
The central ‘plot’ of Tiger King is the vitriolic relationship between Joe Exotic, who owned and operated a ‘zoo’ (of sorts) with many tigers in Oklahoma and Carole Baskin who owned and operated what she classified as a research and rehabilitation preserve with big cats in Florida. She may or may not have killed her husband per the lens of the documentary. Either way, Exotic was ultimately charged and convicted of hiring a hitman to kill Carole Baskin (failed hit – long story) and now he’s in prison (this was not before he won 19% of the vote in the Libertarian Primary for Oklahoma Governor and released a country music single or two).
So ultimately it was a Florida woman who took him down. And now, a Florida man is challenging his status as the Tiger King.
Jordan Travis of Florida State recently led his team to victory against two storied SEC franchises, Clemson and Louisiana State, both of which have tigers as mascots. In response, Travis released a T-Shirt with him sitting on a throne with two tigers at his feet. Joe Exotic didn’t like this.
It’s unclear if Joe believed the shirt says “Tiger King” (it’s actually referencing “College King”) or if he just thought the imagery was too close to his trademark, but Joe thinks Travis should cease and desist and he’s willing to take it to court.
Unfortunately, it seems that Joe only trademarked “Tiger King” for specific purposes (gaming machines, guns, and skin creams) but who knows? The law is a wild place.