In the wake of the unearthed clip showing Joe Exotic complaining that he cannot say the N-word because he's white, Tiger King director Rebecca Chaiklin confirms what we could've assumed all along. "Yes. Joe is a racist, I would say categorically," Chaiklin told The Hollywood Reporter. "He said things when we were filming that were very unsettling."
When asked why they chose not to address this aspect of Exotic's persona, Chaiklin said that the racist angle "didn’t have a context in the story," adding that he has a lot to learn. "I think most of it was ignorance and not having a lot of exposure and I think he even evolved over the course of the time that we filmed," she continued.
Regardless of how he's portrayed in the docuseries, Exotic is "ecstatic" over his newfound fame. "Joe has called me quite a few times over the last few days and weeks," Tiger King director Eric Goode told the Los Angeles Times. "One, he is absolutely ecstatic about the series and the idea of being famous. He’s absolutely thrilled." Goode revealed they haven't been able to speak with Joe ever since he was placed in isolation after being transferred to a federal penitentiary in Texas. He was isolated when someone contracted COVID-19 at the county prison he had been held.
Chaiklin said that if there were a movie or TV show based on his life, Joe has a few suggestions as to who should portray him. "He would like Brad Pitt or David Spade to play him," she said. With a miniseries based on the podcast Joe Exotic: Tiger King already in the works, the role of his archnemesis Carole Baskin already given to Kate McKinnon, but who will play Exotic remains to be seen.
Robert Moor, the New York Times best-selling author behind the podcast, has an intriguing casting idea for Exotic. "My preferred casting—and this is a bit off the wall—would be Margot Robbie," Moor said on Andy Cohen's SiriusXM show Radio Andy. "I think Margot Robbie should play Joe in like a gender switch." He also pointed out that Sam Rockwell is among the names being considered.