The Cardi B-Megan Thee Stallion collaboration “WAP” may be an instant summer jam, but it’s had its share of vocal detractors. Some Republicans came out against its proudly risqué lyrics, prompting their own backlash. Another person who’s nonplussed: animal rights activist and Tiger King stand-out Carole Baskin. Her issue? That the song’s equally outré video features a pair of wild cats, and while they were obviously CGI’d in, she still thinks they probably weren’t treated well.
“My guess is that most people won’t even see the photoshopped cats in the scenes because the rest of it is so sexually explicit,” Baskin told Entertainment Weekly in a statement. “I was happy to see that it does appear to all be photoshopped. It didn’t look like the cats were really in the rooms with the singers.”
“That being said, 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, probably even one of the ones shown in Tiger King, Murder, Mayhem and Madness, who make 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.”
There’s another issue that enraged Baskin: the idea that it “glamorizes the idea of rich people having tigers as pets.” She doesn’t think any good can come out of wild cats being featured in a video by two of the most popular musicians out right now, even though few of their followers could get their mitts on them.
“That makes every follower of these artists, who doesn’t know better, want to imitate by doing the same … After tigers are too old for pay to play sessions by people like Joe Exotic, Bhagavan [Doc] Antle, Marc McCarthy, Mario Tabraue and others, they become a liability instead of an asset. While I think most are destroyed behind closed gates at that point, some end up being given away to people who want to have a tiger to show off. That never works out and the cats either die or end up dumped in sanctuaries or worse yet, breeding mills. There have been some accounts of tigers just being turned loose on communities when they no longer served as ego props. No matter how you cut it, it’s always abusive to the cat and dangerous to the public.”
So there you have it. Obviously Baskin does not know details of the shoot, so her complaints may wind up being moot. As of this writing, neither Cardi B nor Megan Thee Stallion have responded to Baskin’s criticism.