Controversial Netflix Star Announces Presidential Campaign But There’s One Big Problem

Joe Exotic, the infamous Tiger King, is running for the presidency from the comfort of his prison cell.

By Douglas Helm | Updated

tiger king

Joseph Allen Maldonado, aka Joe Exotic aka the Tiger King, is putting his name up for President of the United States (via While reality stars with terrible hair have managed to win before, Joe is facing a pretty big obstacle to the highest office in the land. The Netflix star is currently serving a 21-year federal sentence.

However, Joe Exotic remains undeterred by this challenge is seems more than happy to try to run the country from his prison cell. The campaign website launched by Maldonado acknowledges that he is indeed in prison and asserts that “you might think this is a joke but it’s not.” So there you have it — the Tiger King is ready to give up his monarchical moniker, embrace democracy, and become the Tiger President.

Interestingly, Joe Exotic actually isn’t wrong about his Presidential bid being his “constitutional right,” as there’s nothing barring someone from running for President from prison. So if you truly feel like Joe is the right man for the job, you can certainly vote for him. It seems a little unlikely that he would win, but the political landscape can be pretty strange.

Joe Exotic is serving his sentence for two counts of hiring hitmen to kill activist Carole Baskin. Additionally, Maldonado was convicted of numerous violations of the Endangered Species Act, including killing five tigers and illegally selling tiger cubs. Exotic rose to fame through the true-crime Netflix docuseries which followed his heated rivalry with Baskin.

Baskin criticized Joe Exotic’s treatment of animals at his facility and actually successfully sued Joe and was granted control of his Oklahoma zoo. The judge in the case ruled the current owners would have 120 days to vacate and all animals must be taken off the property and given over to Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue Corp. The title of the zoo was also ruled to be transferred over to Big Cat Rescue.

Joe Exotic made sure to take aim at the Department of Justice while campaigning for President, accusing the department of “perjury” and “corruption.” Exotic is also running on the Libertarian platform, and his website outlines his opinions on a myriad of issues including prison reform, criminal justice reform, immunity, immigration, foreign affairs, taxes, social security, Medicare, and term limits. Exotic has an endorsement page that lists various actors, musicians, models, and influencers who apparently support his Presidential bid.

Of course, the best way to decide if Joe Exotic would be the right fit for President would be to check out Tiger King on Netflix. The series was a big hit for the platform, capturing everyone’s attention for a little while. It appears the concept was a bit of a flash in the pan though, as the show ended up having two more seasons that were decidedly less popular and well-received.

Following season 1 of Joe Exotic’s Tiger King, Netflix released a second season that followed some cast members after Joe’s imprisonment along with cat collectors Tim Stark and Jeff Lowe. The third season followed Exotic’s rival Mahamayavi Bhagavan “Doc Antle.” With this Presidential campaign, maybe there will be another Tiger King season after all.