Boxing legend Mike Tyson calls Hulu “a streaming version of the slave master” after he allegedly stole his life story for profit without compensating him.
In a series of statements posted to his social media accounts on Saturday, Tyson reiterated that he does not support Hulu’s upcoming limited series chronicling his life inside and outside the ring. “Mike” will air on August 25.
“Don’t let Hulu fool you. I don’t support their story about my life,” Tyson, 56, wrote in a statement posted on Instagram. “It’s not 1822. It’s 2022. They stole my life story and didn’t pay me. To Hulu executives, I’m just a [N-word] they can auction.”
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This isn’t the first time Tyson has spoken out against “Mike.” After Hulu first ordered the limited series in February 2021, Tyson fired back at the project.
“Hulu’s announcement to make an unauthorized miniseries of Tyson’s story without compensation, while unfortunate, is not surprising,” Tyson said at the time. “This announcement on the heels of social disparities in our country is a prime example of how Hulu’s corporate greed has led to this tone-deaf cultural hijacking of Tyson’s life story.”
He continued, “Making this announcement during Black History Month only confirms Hulu’s concern for dollars over respecting the rights of Black History. Hollywood needs to be more sensitive to Black experiences. , especially after all that’s happened in 2020.”
In March 2021, Tyson announced that his own “authorized story” was in the works with Jamie Foxx as himself. Filmmaker Martin Scorsese and Foxx are also among the producers. “I had been looking to tell my story for quite some time,” he said.
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According to Hulu, “Mike,” an 8-episode limited series, “explores the tumultuous highs and lows of Tyson’s boxing career and personal life – from being a beloved global athlete to an outcast and vice- versa.… ‘Mike’ is a no-holds-barred and no-holds-barred look at the life of Mike Tyson – and it’s a wild ride.” Trevante Rhodes will play Tyson.
Executive producers Steven Rogers and Karin Gist responded to criticism of Tyson at the Television Critics Association earlier this week.
“We actually couldn’t talk to him because his life rights were already taken so it was never on the table. Hopefully if he looks at it he changes his mind,” said Rogers to reporters Thursday, according to Entertainment Tonight. “For me, as a writer, as a storyteller, I don’t really like being dependent on one source. I really like researching and getting all these different opinions and then putting a story around it all. . I don’t like being beholden to just one person.”
Gist added: “It was also our intention, to tell the story so that we were talking about more than the events of his life, but rather to place the story and give it context in the world and in the world. We really wanted to make sure that we were as broad as possible in researching and dramatizing the events of his life and we could make sure that we also opened the doors for other conversations to be had around those things. “
Tyson responded through his rep on Thursday in a statement to Entertainment Tonight: “My right to life option expired years ago. Hulu nor any of their haughty team ever tried to hire negotiations with this black man. …
“They say this story is an exploration of a black man. It’s more like an exploitation of a black man. Hulu thinks their tracks are covered by hiring black sacrificial lambs to act as front men for their backdoor theft is appalling. I will always remember this blatant disregard for my dignity.”
USA TODAY Sports has contacted Hulu for comment.
Contributor: The Associated Press