By: Sean Crose
“Don’t let Hulu fool you,” Mike Tyson stated in a weekend Instagram post. “I don’t support their story about my life. 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****r they can sell on the auction block.” Tyson was referring to an eight episode Hulu series where he is the main subject. Called “Mike,” the series is set to run on the streaming service beginning on August 28th.
“Hulu tried to desperately pay my brother @danawhite millions,” Tyson stated in an earlier, separate post, “without offering me a dollar to promote their slave master take over story about my life. He turned it down because he honors friendship and treating people with dignity. I’ll never forget what he did for me just like I’ll never forget what Hulu stole from me.”
Tyson has long been an opponent of the biopic. As he told The Hollywood Reporter shortly after the series was announced: “Hulu’s announcement to do an unauthorized miniseries of my life, although unfortunate, isn’t surprising.” The former undisputed heavyweight champion went on to accuse Hulu of using his story as a cynical business opportunity. “This announcement,” he added, “on the heels of social disparities in our country is a prime example of how Hulu’s corporate greed led to this tone-deaf cultural misappropriation of my life story.”
Tyson also added that an approved of motion picture version of his life was in the works. “My authorized story,” he said, “is in development and will be announced in coming days.” Sure enough, the lauded team of Jamie Foxx, Antoine Fuqua, and Martin Scorcese were said to be working on a Tyson project.
Still, Karen Grist, the showrunner of “Mike,” has presented the Hulu series as a nuanced take on a famous figure with a timely story. “We just wanted to tell an unbiased story,” she said while promoting the series, “and have the audience decide what they think or feel. Challenging what people think they know about Mike and hoping that they come away from the series with something else to think about.”
Tyson, of course, is not only legendary in the fight game, but rather is one of the most prominent figures in American sport’s history. A viciously skilled, enormously talented fighter in his prime, Tyson became just as famous for his often frightening behavior outside the ring. With that being said, a far tamer (and even remorseful) Tyson has emerged in the past decade or so, one largely embraced by the culture at large.
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