MEDIA RELEASE: 22nd APRIL 2020
TIGER KING OFFERED US A CHANCE TO TAKE A STAND AGAINST VIOLENCE. WE FAILED.
Emma Hurst, MLC for the Animal Justice Party and former psychologist, has spoken out against the Netflix docuseries Tiger King, slamming public sympathy for Joe Exotic as “disturbing” and “repulsive".
“Let me put this bluntly - he is not quirky because he has a bad haircut. He is a violent man who used and abused animals for profit, and who planned to kill a woman who wants to protect those animals,” said Ms Hurst.
Ms Hurst - who has been campaigning on behalf of animals for over 25 years - recently held a roundtable in NSW Parliament, highlighting the link between animal abuse and human violence, and is now working on legislative changes to protect animal victims in domestic violence.
Ms Hurst has experienced threats from animal abusers herself, including being hit by a car, receiving death threats, and threats of sexual violence.
“The silence around the violence exposed in this docuseries - both toward animals and women - suggests to me that there is still a pervasive acceptance of violence in our society, especially toward women who men consider ‘deserve it’,” said Ms Hurst.
“Joe Exotic’s behaviour is the perfect example of what psychologists call ‘the link’ – a correlation found in copious research that highlights a glaringly obvious fact: violence does not discriminate. Those who harm animals are likely to also harm people.
“David Bekowitz, Jeffrey Dahmer and Edmund Kemper are all serial killers - and they all abused animals.
“People who are violent are violent. If we continue to downplay violence toward animals by finding entertainment in a docuseries about violence towards women and animals - instead of calling out the abuse - then we as a society are condoning this violence.
“As a victim of threats and violence myself, I don’t accept it. I will continue to stand up and speak on behalf of animals who need protection. I will continue to stand by victims like Carole Baskin and any other woman who has been the victim of violence,” said Ms Hurst.
MEDIA CONTACT: ROSINA RAYNS, 0401 991 792