You’d be hard-pressed to find a negative review of Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion‘s wild new “WAP” video. But Tiger King‘s Carole Baskin has managed to embed herself in the cultural conversation once again, delivering a scathing criticism of the “lurid” visuals and its alleged mistreatment of animals.
In a statement to Billboard, the big-cat rights activist denounced the rappers for promoting the idea of rich people keeping tigers as pets: “That makes every ignorant follower want to imitate by doing the same” she warned. “After tigers are too old for pay to play sessions by people like Joe Exotic, Bhagavan Antle, Marc McCarthy, Mario Tabraue, and others, they become a liability instead of an asset.”
Baskin was relieved to find that the tigers were added in using CGI, but she still had some concerns about how the animals were treated. In one of her more amusing observations, she speculated: “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 went on to venture: “You have to pose a wildcat in front of a green screen to get that image and that doesn’t happen in the wild.”
“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). That tells me they probably dealt with one of the big cat pimps, who makes 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.”
Though she raises some valid (and some odd) observations about the mistreatment of big cats in the entertainment industry, her statement to Billboard is pure speculation at this point. Neither Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, nor director Colin Tilley have shed light on the treatment of the animals.