Dancing With the Stars Fans Blast Show for Controversial Casting of Tiger King's Carole Baskin

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It's been one day since the cast of Dancing With the Stars Season 29 was announced

The cast followed the typical formula for the long-in-the-tooth reality series, with the network announcing it comprised reality TV stars, actors, musicians, and even some Olympic stars. 

In all honesty, the cast is actually decent, considering there's a global pandemic going on, but the biggest surprise is Carole Baskin. 


She became famous overnight for her appearance on the Netflix docuseries, Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness. 

Her "Hey, all you cool cats and kittens" line became a meme, as did several other aspects of her life. 

Baskin's feud with Joe Exotic, who is currently serving a 22-year jail sentence for a murder-for-hire plot targeting Baskin, the owner of Florida’s Big Cat Rescue, took center stage on the series. 

The series also addressed her missing husband Don Lewis’ disappearance, with some alleging she may have been involved in his disappearance.


He has been missing for 23 years and was legally presumed dead in 2002.

Fans of Dancing With the Stars were quick to voice their frustration on social media over casting her in the latest season of the series. 

“[Whose] bright idea was it to make Carole Baskin a celebrity dancer on DWTS this year?!?” said one viewer of the Good Morning America casting announcement.

“Are you telling me Carole Baskin, the crazy woman that killed her husband and harasses other big cat owners, is going to be on Dancing with the Stars?” a second added tweeted.


“If Carole Baskin doesn’t win and the other contestants disappear suspiciously. We know what happened. #askingforabaskin,” another wrote.

"Carole Baskin killed her husband & took everything from Joe Exotic and still got cast on Dancing With the Stars," said another irate fan. 

Yep, the reaction has not been all that positive. 

"Carole Baskin kills her husband and she gets put on Dancing With the Stars? America in a nutshell," said another user on Twitter. 

baskin abc

The ABC series is known for having controversial stars, with former host Tom Bergeron criticizing the decision to cast polarizing political figures. 

Thankfully, DWTS did not cast any political figures this season, but maybe Baskin ate up all of the budget. 

In her first interview with Good Morning America about her casting, Baskin said she was made to look like a villain in the Netflix documentary and felt “betrayed” by producers for the false portrayal of her.

She said that her life has been a “nightmare” since the series made its debut. 

baskin redeem

Her aim is to show people a different side to her.  She also thinks that her appearance could keep the cats in the “forefront” in the viewers’ eyes.

“To me, that is where Tiger King missed the ball,” she said. “It really should have been focused on the animals and I’m hoping Dancing with the Stars will do that.”

Dancing With the Stars returns to ABC Monday, September 14. 

Will you watch?

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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