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Based on Netflix’s pandemic-era hit Tiger King (64 million households have watched since its March 20 debut, per the streamer), Joe Exotic already has been pegged as the likeliest sight at this year’s Halloween celebrations (fingers crossed).
But PETA is ready with its own costume — minus the publicity-hungry, rogue zoo operator’s typical ensemble of metallic animal print shirts, skinny jeans and cowboy boots. Instead, the animal rights group is offering — through its online store — a version made to mimic Joseph Maldonado-Passage’s current state: behind bars. The costume, retailing for $159.99, includes a blond mullet wig and mustache, a “plush pouncing tiger,” a set of jail bars and an orange jumpsuit with the “King” in “Tiger King” replaced with “Killer.”
Maldonado-Passage was sentenced to 22 years in a federal prison for his role in a murder-for-hire plot against one of the documentary’s primary subjects, Carole Baskin, owner of Big Cat Rescue. He also was found guilty of killing five tigers in 2017.
PETA’s Brittany Peet, who appears in the docuseries, says: “Tiger King has exposed tiger exhibitors as ghouls who steal cubs from their mothers … and then often discard or kill them when they grow up. This Halloween, PETA will poke some pointed fun at a tiger killer who belongs behind bars, where he can no longer harm a hair on any animal’s head.”
A version of this story first appeared in the May 6 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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