Mike Tyson has accused Hulu of stealing his story to produce “Mike,” an upcoming limited series about his life and career.
The boxing legend took aim at the streaming giant in a series of scathing social media posts expressing his displeasure with the show and Hulu’s handling of production. Set to debut on August 25, the eight-episode series “explores the tumultuous ups and downs of Tyson’s boxing career and personal life – from being a beloved global athlete to being pariah and back again” and stars Trevante Rhodes.
Tyson, 56, shared an Instagram post on Saturday with a caption calling Hulu “the streaming version of slave master” and claiming the company “stole my story and didn’t pay me.” He then sent a message to his supporters stressing that he did not endorse any aspect of the production, which Hulu also described as an “unauthorized and unhindered look at the life of Mike Tyson.”
“Don’t let Hulu fool you. I do not support their story about my life,” Tyson wrote on Instagram. “It’s not 1822. It’s 2022. They stole the story of my life and didn’t pay me. To Hulu executives, I’m just a [n-word] they can sell on the auction block.
About 24 hours ago, Tyson began his tirade on Twitter with a story involving UFC owner Dana White. The former heavyweight champion said Hulu tried to pay White to promote “Mike” without “offering me a dollar,” only for White to decline the offer due to attention on Tyson.
“Hulu desperately tried to pay my brother @danawhite millions without offering me a dollar to promote their slave master take over story of my life. He refused it because he values friendship and treating people with dignity. I’ll never forget what you did for me, just like I’ll never forget what Hulu stole from me.
Tyson continued to address the situation Saturday in more tweets expressing his frustration with the company. He stated that “heads will roll” for the production and even took a moment to send out a tweet addressed directly to Hulu.
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“Hey @hulu it’s not me [N-word] you can sell on the auction block #slaveryisover #f—hulu,” he wrote. Another tweet, sent a minute later, read: “Hulu’s model of stealing celebrity lifetime rights is extremely greedy #headswillroll.”
A few hours later, Tyson sent out a follow-up tweet claiming the producers had lied to his friends by saying he supported the show. “Someone needs to be fired from Hulu. The producers lied to my friends saying that I support unauthorized serials for my life,” he shared.
Tyson’s social media activity comes after he responded to comments made by “Mike” executive producers Stephen Rogers and Karin Gist during a virtual Television Critics Association panel Thursday. Regarding Tyson’s past criticism of the show’s approach, Rogers told reporters that the showrunners couldn’t talk to Tyson “because his rights to life have already been taken, so that was never on the table.”
“I hope if he watches it, he’ll change his mind,” Rodgers continued, according to Entertainment Tonight. “For me, as a writer, as a storyteller, I don’t like to rely on just one source. I really like doing research and getting all these different opinions and then presenting a story around it all. I don’t like to obey just one person.
Tyson later issued a response to ET through a representative, saying that his life rights option “expired years ago” and that “Neither Hulu nor any of their arrogant staff ever attempted to engage in negotiations with this black man “. He also stated that he “will always remember this blatant disregard for my dignity.”
Tyson’s outspoken disapproval of the series dates back to its announcement in February 2021, when he called the project “a tone-deaf cultural appropriation of Tyson’s life story.”
“Hulu’s announcement to make an unauthorized miniseries of Tyson’s story without compensation, while unfortunate, is not surprising,” Tyson said at the time, via the Associated Press. “This announcement on the heels of our country’s social disparities is a prime example of how Hulu’s corporate greed led to this culturally tone-deaf misappropriation of Tyson’s life story.”
Hulu has yet to release a statement regarding Tyson’s claims.
The first two episodes of “Mike” are set to premiere on August 25, with two new episodes debuting each week thereafter.