Boxing legend Mike Tyson is labeling Hulu “the streaming version of the slave master” after it 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 the upcoming Hulu limited series chronicling his life in and out of the ring. “Mike” opens 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. My life story was stolen and I wasn’t paid. To Hulu execs, I’m just a [N-word] they can sell on the auction block.
The former undisputed world heavyweight champion continued to express his complaint on Twitter. The I call Hulu series a “slavery master story about my life”, adding the hashtag “#slaveryisdead” in another cheep.
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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 responded to the project.
“Hulu’s announcement to make an unauthorized miniseries of the Tyson story without compensation, while unfortunate, is not surprising,” Tyson said at the time. “This announcement about the social disparities in our country is a prime example of how Hulu’s corporate greed led to this deaf cultural misappropriation of Tyson’s life story.”
He continued, “Making this announcement during Black History Month only confirms Hulu’s concern for the dollars about respecting Black story rights. Hollywood needs to be more sensitive to Black experiences, especially after everything that has happened in 2020”.
In March 2021, Tyson announced that his own “authorized story” was in the works, starring Jamie Foxx as himself. Filmmaker Martin Scorsese and Foxx are also among the producers. “I’ve 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 ups and downs of Tyson’s boxing career and personal life, from beloved world athlete to outcast and back again… ‘Mike’ is a and a no-holds-barred look at the life of Mike Tyson, and it’s one wild ride.” Trevante Rhodes will play Tyson.
Executive producers Steven Rogers and Karin Gist addressed criticism of Tyson at the Television Critics Association earlier this week.
“Actually, we couldn’t talk to him because his life rights were already taken, so it was never on the table. I hope if he sees it, he changes his mind,” Rogers told reporters Thursday, according to Entertainment. Tonight. “I, as a writer, as a storyteller, I don’t like to rely on one source. I really like to do research and get all these different opinions and then tell a story about it all. I don’t like to be indebted to one person.”
Gist added, “That was also our intention, to tell the story in a way that we’re talking about more than just the events of her life, but we’re setting the story and giving it context in the world and at that time. We really wanted to make sure that we were as broad as possible in the investigation and dramatization of the events of his life and that we could make sure that we opened the doors to other conversations about those things as well.”
Tyson responded through his representative on Thursday in a statement to Entertainment Tonight: “My right to life option expired years ago. Neither Hulu nor any of their arrogant team attempted to enter into 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 believes their tracks are covered by hiring black slaughtered lambs to play the role of figureheads for their backdoor heist.” It’s appalling. I will always remember this blatant disregard for my dignity.”
USA TODAY Sports has contacted Hulu for comment.
Contributing: The Associated Press