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It’s Sad That We Were Generally Concerned the President Would Pardon Joe Exotic

Instead it was ... Susan B. Anthony

Joe Exotic in Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness (2020)

A typical 2020 occurrence: Worrying about Joe Exotic being pardoned. The star of Tiger King has been gunning for a presidential pardon since his fame took flight with the release of the Netflix documentary. But, if you watched Tiger King, you know that he most definitely doesn’t need to be pardoned. Currently serving a sentence for a murder-for-hire plot and animal abuse, the self-appointed Tiger King became famous because his story is one that constantly baffled us while watching it.

So last night, when Donald Trump told the press that he was planning on pardoning a “very important” person today, everyone jumped to the idea that it was going to be Joe Exotic. We now know the plan was for Susan B. Anthony, the American social reformer often credited with getting white women the right to vote. Anthony, who was arrested for voting, is being pardoned of that arrest, but the thing is, she’d hate this.

Susan B. Anthony is…complicated to say the least. But I’m not here to get into why she should and shouldn’t be praised. I’m here to talk specifically about how Donald Trump probably thinks this is a “great” win for women that he’s pardoning Anthony, who died in 1906.

I wish I understood. I think Trump just probably thought, “Well this will get women to vote for me” despite the fact that Anthony is now held up by conservatives and is, as I said before, a hugely complicated figure. But the best part about it is that Anthony would hate this so he’s doing something to make himself look great in the eyes of “women” and yet the woman he’s honoring didn’t want this. Sometimes, 2020 is too on the nose.

So, luckily for us all, Joe Exotic was not the pardon of choice but the fact that we all feared Donald Trump doing so shows a lot about how we view this administration and what next level Trump is willing to take his stupidity to. The more I think about the idea of Joe Exotic being pardoned, the more I realize that maybe Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness was a mistake.

(image: Netflix)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.