Boxing legend Mike Tyson has a major bone to pick with streaming platform Hulu. The 56-year-old posted this series of tweets over the weekend, claiming Hulu created a mini-series based on his life without his permission.
Hulu stole my story. They’re Goliath and I’m David. Heads will roll for this.— Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) August 6, 2022
Hulu’s model of stealing life rights of celebrities is egregiously greedy #headswillroll— Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) August 6, 2022
“Iron Mike” also praised UFC president Dana White for not taking part in the said project, despite being offered a large sum of money.
Hulu tried to desperately pay my brother @danawhite millions 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 pic.twitter.com/amk65CjtvJ— Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) August 6, 2022
…I'll never forget what Hulu stole from me. (2/2) pic.twitter.com/kZKkY4hX5K— Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) August 6, 2022
Other prominent figures in prizefighting joined in, like UFC star Nate Diaz and WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman, who claimed they were also misled by Hulu and were made to provide title belts as props.
A fighter who was like a son to my father is @MikeTyson I just spoke to him I’m so upset to learn that his upcoming series were produced without his involvement and consent The @WBCBoxing was mislead by @hulu and we provided belts for production Mike Tyson Is a legend RESPECT pic.twitter.com/lwPKDzU8aJ— Mauricio Sulaiman (@wbcmoro) August 6, 2022
Producers of the show have since responded to Tyson’s statements. Here’s what EP Steven Rogers said during the show’s virtual Television Critics Association panel on Thursday (via ET Online):
“We actually couldn’t talk to him because his life rights were already taken, so that was never on the table. I would hope that if he watches it that he would change his opinion,” he said.
“For me, as a writer, as a storyteller, I don’t really like to be reliant on just one source. I really like to do the research and get all these different opinions and then put a story around all of that. I don’t like to be beholden to just one person.”
EP Karin Gist also had this to say:
“And that was our intention as well, to tell the story so that we’re talking about more than just the events in his life, but rather placing the story and giving it context in the world and at the time.
“We really wanted to make sure we were as broad as possible in the research and the dramatization of the events of his life and we could make sure we were opening the doors to other conversations to be had around those things as well.”
Tyson then responded to ET via his representative, saying this:
“Is a flat-out lie. My life rights option expired years ago. Hulu nor any of their supercilious team ever tried to engage in any negotiations with this Black man. In their eyes, I am still just a n—r on the auction block ready to be sold for their profit without any regard for my worth or my family.
“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 play the part as front men for their backdoor robbery is appalling. I will always remember this blatant disregard of my dignity.”
“Mike,” which has eight episodes so far for the first season, will premiere on August 25th. Set to take on the lead role is award-winning actor Trevante Rhodes. Part of the supporting cast is Mean Streets star Harvey Keitel, who will play the role of Tyson’s first mentor, Cus D’Amato.