Hulu is one streaming service Mike Tyson almost certainly won’t use.
The New York Post reports that in a series of social media statements, the legendary boxer is alleging Hulu stole his life story without compensation and is angry about the upcoming show, Mike, that chronicles his life.
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“Don’t let Hulu fool you. I don’t support their story about my life,” the 56-year-old Tyson wrote on Instagram. “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-word) they can sell on the auction block.”
In a caption on that Instagram post, Tyson wrote: “Hulu is the streaming version of the slave master. They stole my story and didn’t pay me.”
Tyson went over to Twitter and made similar comments, writing that “Hulu’s model of stealing life rights of celebrities is egregiously greedy”. He added: “Hulu stole my story. They’re Goliath and I’m David. Heads will roll for this.”
While it’s not uncommon for biopics to be made without the subject’s approval, Tyson had a similar take when the show was first ordered in February of 2021.
“To make this announcement during Black History Month only confirms Hulu’s concern for dollars over respect for Black story rights,” he said at the time.
“Hollywood needs to be more sensitive to Black experiences especially after all that has transpired in 2020.”
Tyson also tweeted on the weekend in support of UFC president Dana White.
“Hulu tried to desperately pay my brother Dana White millions without offering me a dollar to promote their slave master take over story about my life,” the boxer said.
“He turned it down because he honours 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 announced in March of 2021 that his “authorised story” was being developed, with Jamie Foxx starring as the boxer and filmmaker Martin Scorsese producing the film.
Executive producers of the upcoming Hulu show, Steven Rogers and Karin Gist, addressed Tyson’s criticism this week, saying they were unable to talk to him because his rights were already taken.
“We just wanted to tell an unbiased story and have the audience decide what they think or feel,” Gist said. “Challenging what people think they know about Mike and hoping that they come away from the series with something else to think about.
“Whether you like him or hate him, does the story make you question how complicit society has been? That was the intention, that was the North Star for the writers’ room as we were crafting stories.”
Rogers added: “I would hope that if he watches it that he would change his opinion.
“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.”
Tyson responded to the producers, staying on the attack.
“They say this story is an exploration of a Black man. It’s more like an exploitation of a Black man,” the former heavyweight champion said.
“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.”
This article first appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission