Tiger King's Carole Baskin Slams Use of Big Cats in Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion's 'WAP' Video
"That makes every follower of these artists, who doesn't know better, want to imitate by doing the same," Carole Baskin said of the rappers featuring the wild animals in their music video
"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."
Still, Baskin, the CEO of Big Cat Rescue, disapproves of the women featuring wild animals. (Reps for Cardi and Megan did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.)
"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," Baskin, 59, told EW. "It can 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 show 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," Baskin added.
Baskin, who was recently granted control of nemesis Joe Exotic's former zoo, said she is concerned that Cardi and Megan's use of the animals could influence others to do the same.
"That makes every follower of these artists, who doesn't know better, want to imitate by doing the same," she told EW. "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 [big cats] 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," Baskin said.
In the "WAP" music video, which was released on Friday, a big cat is seen as Jenner, 23, struts down a zig-zag hallway and notices the animal peering out from an open door.
The big cat growls at Jenner as she walks past and enters a mysterious room, where Cardi, 27, takes over again, rapping another verse of the racy song.
Sharing her inspiration for the project, Cardi said in a new installment of New Music Daily on Apple Music that she wanted to disprove the misconception that women can't support other women in the industry.
"I feel like people be wanting to put female artists against each other. ... You know what I'm saying?" Cardi explained. "Every single time I feel like there's a female artist that's coming up ... I always see like little slick comments like, 'Oh, they taking over your spot. They taking over this. They taking over that.' And it just makes me feel like, damn, why it had to be like that? Because I actually like shorty music a lot. Why does it even have to be like that?"