Spilling the beans! Netflix star Bhagavan “Doc” Antle is opening up about his experience filming Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness — and not all of it was positive.
The founder and director of the Institute for Greatly Endangered and Rare Species spoke to Us Weekly exclusively from his home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and admitted that he wasn’t too pleased with some decisions that the Netflix docuseries while it was in production.
“John (Finlay) was forced to take his teeth out for the series,” the animal enthusiast explained on Monday, March 30. “He had bridgework done, I guess he did a lot of meth as a kid. But the show wanted him portrayed a certain way, so the teeth had to come out. He had a full set of teeth before taping.”
Finlay, who was formerly married to self-proclaimed “Tiger King” Joe Exotic, took social media by surprise earlier this month when he revealed his near-perfect smile on Instagram.
“Yes I have my teeth fixed,” the ex-GW Zoo employee captioned a photo of himself and his fiancée Stormey Sanders. “The producers of the Netflix series had video and pictures of this, but chose not to show it.”
Shortly after Tiger King became one of the most-watched shows on Netflix during the COVID-19 pandemic, Finlay clarified some aspects of his story to TMZ. While the docuseries explains that Finlay’s improper teeth were the result of his meth addiction, he revealed that his teeth were “messed up before that due to genetic reasons.” He got his new dentures in July 2019.
Before Antle expressed his disappointment with how Finlay was portrayed, he explained how he thought the seven-episode docuseries gained its massive following — and humbly bragged about his big cat sanctuary in comparison to those of his competitors, Exotic (real name Joseph Maldonado Passage) and Carole Baskin.
“It took off and just became this huge hit at the perfect time because people are stuck on their Covid couches. It gave bored people something to really sink their teeth into,” Antle told Us. “I wish that they would have portrayed it in more of a documentary fashion. My facility was only shown briefly if you notice, and that was for a reason. My facility is first class, much better than Joe or Carole [Baskin’s] backyard overgrown very small so-called sanctuary. Mine is the nicest in the world.”
With reporting by Jennifer Heger
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