Everyone say welcome back to Carole Baskin, who has re-emerged after choosing not to appear in Netflix's April Tiger Kingreunion special. The feline lover is speaking out against the use of big cats in Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion's "WAP" music video, which dropped on August 7th.
Well, more like use of big cat imagery. The visual, which features tigers and leopards, used CGI technology to place the wild cats in the room with the Cardi and Megan via green screens. Carole was "happy" that they were "photoshopped" into the song's video, but still unimpressed overall, according to a statement given to Billboard.
"My guess is that most people won't even see the Photoshopped cats in the scenes because the rest of it is so lurid," Baskin wrote.
According to Carole, the big cats would still have to be placed in front of a green screen to produce that image at some point. This contravenes the intentions behind Cat Rescue — her non-profit animal sanctuary featured in Tiger King — where she says cats are never used for entertainment purposes.
"It can't happen in sanctuaries like ours where cats have plenty of room to avoid a green screen (or would shred it if offered access and could die from ingesting it)," Baskin said in the statement. "That tells me they probably dealt with one of the big cat pimps, probably even one of the ones shown in Tiger King, Murder, Mayhem and Madness, who make a living from beating, shocking and starving cats to make them stand on cue in front of a green screen in a studio. That's never good for the cat."
Baskin believes that showing the big cats in such vivid, luxe environments may influence viewers into buying them as pets. She references big cat breeders like Tiger King's Joe Exotic and Bhagavan "Doc" Antle, who she claims treat tigers as "a liability instead of an asset" once they "are too old for pay to play sessions," which she says leads to abusive scenarios for the cats involved.
"While I think most are destroyed behind closed gates at that point, some end up being given away to people who want to have a tiger to show off," Carole explained in the statement. "That never works out and the cats either die or end up dumped in sanctuaries or, worse yet, breeding mills. Either way, it's always abusive to the cat."
In short, the imagery glamorizes big cat ownership, and the use of CGI only solves part of the problem; according to Carole, the cats are still harmed somewhere else along the line.
Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion have yet to comment on Baskin's claims, but both showed interest in Tiger King during its run, with Cardi showing support for Exotic (who is currently in prison for attempted murder) and Megan re-posting a video on her Instagram of TikTok's updated #SavageChallenge featuring Tiger King-inspired lyrics.