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A cat fight has erupted between Carole Baskin and Cardi B following the use of big cat imagery in “WAP.”
Leopards prowl around Cardi B as she dances in a leopard print outfit and Megan Thee Stallion does splits surrounded by white tigers in the video for their new collaborative hit “WAP.” But days after the video debuted last week, Baskin put out a statement, obtained by Oxygen.com, condemning the big cats imagery. She said the video “ glamorizes the idea of rich people having tigers as pets.”
The "Tiger King” star added, “No matter how you cut it, it's always abusive to the cat and dangerous to the public.”
A Washington Post op ed emphasized the same sentiment, accusing Cardi B of ignoring the lessons that “Tiger King” taught the public about the exploitative big cat industry.
"What we do know is that in using footage of these animals, the video perpetuates a culture that has allowed the mistreatment of big cats," the article stated.
Baskin did note that the cats were likely all Photoshopped in via green screen. But she said in order to do that, one has to pose the animals in front of a green screen, which is unnatural. If any of her sanctuary cats were granted access to a green screen, she said they would likely shred it and possibly eat it.
“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 makes a living from beating, shocking, and starving cats to make them stand on cue in front of a green screen in a studio,” she said. “That's never good for the cat.”
"Tiger King" featured interviews with several big cat breeders, including Joe Exotic. Baskin's condemnation of big cat breeding resulted in the infamous feud between her and the mulleted zookeeper. Exotic is currently serving 22 years in federal prison for hiring a hitman to kill her. During their rivalry, Exotic repeatedly accused Baskin of killing her former husband, Don Lewis. Baskin has repeatedly and vehemently denied having anything to do with Lewis’ 1997 disappearance.
But Cardi B referenced it in response to Baskin’s criticisms.
“I’m not gonna engage with Carole Baskin on that,” the artist told i-D on Thursday. “Like, that’s just ridiculous you know? Oh, Lord. Like, girl, you killed your goddamn husband.”
Baskin’s response to Cardi B’s comment?
“When most people are called out for their involvement in cruelty to animals they know there is no justification that will persuade others so they have to deflect the conversation to something else,” she told Oxygen.com in a statement.
This isn't the first time Cardi B has used big cats in her music videos. She used a cheetah borrowed from a sultan in Dubai in 2017 to shoot the music video for her song “Bodak Yellow," NME reported in 2018. The cheetah reportedly almost attacked her.
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