Tiger King pretty much summarizes 202o, ammirite? It’s chaotic, confusing and the hits just keep on coming. It helps that they key players in the documentary seem to be enjoying their fifteen minutes of fame. Although now it’s feeling more like 20 minutes.
While Joe Exotic, the Tiger King himself, is stuck in jail, everyone else seems to be busy as ever. Jeff Lowe and his wife are set to have their own reality show. Carole Baskin seized control of Joe’s zoo. She also seized our ears, thanks to a recent Cameo to a fan. In the video clip, she and husband, Howard Baskin, sing 50 Cent’s “In Da Club.”
Fofty Fifty Cent may have enjoyed it but I think the rest of the world could have done without. It’s clear to see that Tiger King is a phenomenon of sorts. So it’s not surprising that everyone is trying to cash in and claim ownership.
One such organization that is feeling cut out of the mix is Hollywood Weekly Magazine. According to The Hollywood Reporter, HWM has filed a lawsuit against Netflix, CBS Studios, Paramount and Imagine Television. HWM has cited multiple claims, including trademark and copyright infringement. They also cite unfair business practices and unjust enrichment. The publication says it owns the “Tiger King” trademark. In addition, they are claiming that it’s unwanted relationship with the series is having a negative effect on its reputation.
HWM is seeking damages and disgorgement of profits, along with asking for the destruction of the series and their advertising. The magazine claims it created the phrase “Tiger King” to reference Joe Exotic back in 2013. Though HWM didn’t file the trademark until July of this year, they assert that the nickname was exclusive to the profile of Joe Exotic himself.
Michael F. Frank, an attorney for HWM explains, “Recently after the Series was distributed for streaming, Plaintiffs for the first time were receiving comments from advertisers as to when HWM became a tabloid gossip magazine when the fundamental pillar of HWM is and always has been ‘No Gossip, Strictly Entertainment’ and always highly respected and well-known for this brand.” So aside from the use of Tiger King itself, the magazine is less than pleased with the series itself.
The attorney continues, “The Series literally uses the [Tiger King mark] in its title, throughout the video, and then even shows issues of the HWM Publication itself within the video Series as well showing that they knew about it, accessed it, had access to it, and were even using it in the Series itself, thus establishing the [mark] was neither separately created nor developed by Defendants.”
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HWM also claims its advertisers have also threatened to bail on them, citing the “very easily plausible and obvious connection” with “a tawdry television program.” Tiger King tawdry? Yes. A masterpiece of entertainment? Also yes.
Idk what HWM’s problem is but I feel like they are too little too late. If Tiger King wasn’t a runaway success on the streaming service, would we even be having this conversation? Probably not. Either way, the Tiger King saga continues.
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[Photo Credit: Netflix]