Boxing champ Mike Tyson has some fighting words for streaming giant Hulu, which has produced the upcoming biopic series about his life.
Tyson’s life has been full of wins and losses both in and outside the ring. Back in 1986, he became the youngest heavyweight champion in history and claimed the World Boxing Council (WBC) title. Tyson, with his power punches, racked up win after win and by 1987 Tyson had captured the title belts of all three sanctioning organizations (WBC, World Boxing Association, and International Boxing Federation).
Then his wins came to an end when he was convicted of rape in 1992. Upon his release in 1995, Tyson had to rebuild his career and reputation. He returned to boxing and regained two of his championship belts. But drama still had a place in his life. Along the way, Tyson, who was once one of the highest-paid athletes in the world, rebuilt his wealth, which now reportedly stands at $10 million. Tyson reportedly earned more than $700 million from his boxing bouts, with his highest net worth estimated to be just above $300 million.
Hulu’s “Mike” is said to capture all the drama that followed Tyson as it follows Tyson from adolescence to his athletic retirement. In the biopic series, actor Trevante Rhodes portrays Tyson. Hulu premieres the first two episodes of the series eight-episode season on Aug. 25.
Most likely, Tyson himself will not be watching.
According to Tyson, Hulu “stole” his life story, and he has not compensated him for “Mike.” The former heavyweight champion slammed Hulu and the series through his Instagram on Aug. 6.
In one Instagram post, Tyson writes that Hulu tried to hire Dana White, the president of premier mixed martial arts organization Ultimate Fighting Championship to promote “Mike,” but White declined because he “honors friendship.” Tyson then blasts the series as a “slave master” taking over the story about his life.
“Hulu tried to desperately pay my brother Dana White millions without offering me a dollar to promote their slave master take over the story about my life,” Tyson wrote in the IG post. “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 also posted: “Don’t let Hulu fool you. 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 continued his rant against “Mike” on Twitter, tweeting “Hulu’s model of stealing life rights of celebrities is egregiously greedy #headswillroll.”
“Hulu stole my story. They’re Goliath, and I’m David. Heads will roll for this,” he added.
Tyson hasn’t been happy about the biopic since it was greenlit by Hulu in February 2021. Tyson has spoken out several times about the production.
“This announcement 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 the Tyson life story,” Tyson said in a statement in February 2022.
He also said in the statement, “To make this announcement during Black History Month only confirms Hulu’s concern for dollars over respect for Black story rights. Hollywood needs to be more sensitive to Black experiences, especially after all that transpired in 2020.”
According to “Mike” executive producers Steven Rogers and Karin Gist, they were unable to involve Tyson in the project because his rights were already taken, The New York Post reported. The producers were able to proceed with the series because the creator of such a project does not need the subject’s permission or cooperation to tell his story.
In March 2021, Tyson announced that his “authorized story” was in the works with Jamie Foxx in the starring role and heavyweight filmmaker Martin Scorcese producing. But production still has not found a network home.