It seems the whole world has been captivated by the Netflix documentary series Tiger King, which follows the misadventures of former zoo owner, aspiring country singer and one time candidate for president of the U.S. and governor of Oklahoma, Joe Exotic (Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage), who's currently serving a 22-year sentence in federal prison for a murder-for-hire plot.
On Monday, April 13, Lambert shared a throwback photo of herself with Joe Exotic along with some of his former crew members. The singer even worked in a reference to her Maren Morris duet "Way Too Pretty For Prison," from her 2019 album Wildcard.
In an update, Lambert explained that she doesn't (and would never) condone Joe Exotic's behavior (the former roadside zoo owner has been accused of exploiting and abusing animals) and wasn't aware of his zoo when she met him back in 2017. Lambert, a passionate advocate for animals met Joe Exotic when he offered to help relocated shelter dogs for Lambert's MuttNation foundation.
"Backstory: During Hurricane Harvey, the MuttNation team went to Houston to help relocate existing shelter dogs to free up shelter space for animals separated from their owners," Lambert wrote. "MuttNation asked for volunteers who could transport some dogs from Houston to shelters in Oklahoma, where there was more room and they could be treated and adopted. Some guy named Joe volunteered his trailer and staff. Now I know it's 'Joe Exotic.' 🤷♀️ I've never been to his zoo and I didn't even know he had tigers. OBVIOUSLY I'd never condone animals being treated badly."
— Miranda Lambert (@mirandalambert) April 13, 2020
Tiger King has brought attention to Joe Exotic's aforementioned country songs, including "I Saw a Tiger" and murder ballad "Here Kitty Kitty." Alas, it seems that even if he wasn't serving over 20 years in prison, the Oklahoman had little hope of becoming the next Blake Shelton. The Los Angeles Times reports that those songs Joe Exotic is "singing" in the 7-episode series were written by Vince Johnson and performed by singer Danny Clinton.
American Aquarium's BJ Barham offered his own cover of earnest "Joe Exotic" tune "I Saw a Tiger."