Joel McHale Surprised Over Backlash to 'Tiger King' Special Question

Joel McHale received some backlash to a question he asked on Netflix's Tiger King special. 

Speaking this week with Conan O'Brien, McHale, who hosted The Tiger King And I, a special episode of the wildly popular docuseries Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, said he was shocked over the heat he got from viewers for one of his questions to multiple people featured in the Netflix series. 

"People gave me such shit for asking if Joe Exotic should be in jail, and I was like, that doesn't seem like a hard-hitting geyser question," McHale told the Conan host. "They were like, 'How dare you.' and I was like, '19 felonies?'" 

Joseph Maldonado-Passage, aka Joe Exotic, was the main focus of Tiger King. A former tiger zoo owner in Oklahoma, Maldonado-Passage is serving a 22-year prison sentence for his involvement in a murder-for-hire plot and numerous animal abuse charges. 

"It was a weird thing because I think people see [Tiger King subjects] as characters and not necessarily human beings," McHale speculated. 

Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos personally asked McHale to host the special after the series took off, to which McHale said he gladly accepted, being a fan of Tiger King

Watch the full segment below.