‘Tiger King’ Producers Sued for Using ‘Ace Ventura 2’ Clips

by Matthew Memrick

“Ace Ventura 2: When Nature Calls,” movie producers say streaming service Netflix and “Tiger King” are in trouble for using unauthorized clips from the 1995 movie.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Morgan Creek Productions recently sued the two companies for copyright infringement for using two clips in the hit reality series.

The March 2020 Netflix show told the story of Joseph Maldonado Passage, aka “Joe Exotic,” owner of an Oklahoma “big cat” zoo.

Morgan Creek Productions is a 33-year-old company behind some big movies. They made “Young Guns,” “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” and a few other big movies. The company works with larger studios to make movies but keeps the copyrights. They also make autonomous decisions on home video and television rights.  

Lawsuit Cites Two Ace Ventura Clips

The lawsuit goes after two unauthorized clips from the Jim Carrey movie. One has a “monkey wrapped around Carrey’s neck and shoulder.” Another had the star “triumphantly riding an elephant.”

The two clips totaled five seconds of screen time. They were part of a sequence featuring animals, including tigers, panthers, monkeys, and great apes. According to the lawsuit, a dubbed-over voice identifies Ventura while the clips air. 

The lawsuit states that Morgan Creek “is informed and believes, and thereupon alleges, that Ace Ventura is the only film used in Tiger King where more than one clip appears.”

Morgan Creek said that millions saw the series and caused harm to MCP “all while knowing or having reason to know of the use of the Infringing Clips was without permission, content or license.”

They say the scenes worked to “enhance the value of the Tiger King show.” They claim the “Ace Ventura 2” scenes added “levity” to the episode and drove up viewership. They also inferred that the people behind the movie were “promoting Tiger King favorably.”

The lawsuit said that Morgan Creek tried to work things out before taking action, but they now want satisfaction. They also want compensation for statutory damages and their attorney fees paid off. Finally, they want the defendants to quit using any clips owned by the production company. 

Tiger King Zoo Can’t Feature Animals

Recently, authorities told the man who bought former zoo owner Joe Exotic’s property he can’t feature animals there.

Screen Rant reported that Jeff Lowe was once the business partner of Exotic before Carole Baskin took over the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park zoo last year because of a court order.

Lowe’s poor zoo conditions and poor vet treatment of the animals led to Baskin’s ownership and closure. 

Last week, federal authorities gave Lowe a lifetime ban from keeping animals for exhibition purposes. They say the man’s company broke the Endangered Species Act by taking illegal animal ownership without the proper clearances.