Boxer and actor Mike Tyson speaks out against the new Hulu miniseries about his life, saying they stole his story and never paid him for it.
Boxer and actor Mike Tyson has spoken out against the new Hulu miniseries, Mike, which chronicles his life. Tyson is the former heavyweight world champion, having earned the title at age 20, remaining undefeated from 1987 to 1990. However, Tyson was later sentenced to six years in prison for sexual assault, a charge he has denied, serving three of those years before being released on parole and returning to boxing. Tyson has faced a number of controversies throughout his life and career, including a bout with boxer Evander Holyfield, whose ear he infamously bit a chunk out of during the fight.
Since that time, Tyson has stepped out of the ring and into Hollywood, frequently appearing as himself in films like The Hangover, Black & White, Rocky Balboa, Scary Movie V, and TV shows like Roseanne, How I Met Your Mother, and Franklin & Bash. He has also appeared in the animated series Mike Tyson Mysteries on Netflix and even a stand-up special for HBO called The Undisputed Truth. In recent years, development had begun on a number of projects seeking to adapt Tyson’s life story, one of which is set to be produced by Antoine Fuqua and star Jamie Foxx as Tyson. A competing project from Hulu, the eight-episode miniseries titled Mike, starring Trevante Rhodes, is set to debut on August 25th.
Taking to social media, Tyson has slammed the upcoming miniseries, saying he does not support the project. In his posts, Tyson likens the company to “slave master[s],” saying the company took his story without asking or paying him for it. Tyson also says that Hulu offered Dana White, president of the UFC, millions of dollars to promote the series, while offering Tyson nothing. Meanwhile, actor Trevante Rhodes, who plays Tyson in the Mike series, has responded in his own way, showing respect to Tyson, as well as the work he has done on the series. Read both of Tyson’s posts on the issue below:
This isn’t the first time that Tyson has spoken out against Hulu’s Mike project. When the show was announced in 2021, the former boxer called it “tone-deaf cultural misappropriation” of his story, and said that an authorized version was in development. That version would be the Fuqua/Foxx series, to be produced by Martin Scorsese, which is still in development after a number of setbacks, including the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s unclear where the Tyson-endorsed Tyson show will debut, as it does not yet have a streaming home, although it will likely hit Netflix, Apple TV, or Prime Video given the talent involved.
Adapting someone’s life story is always difficult, as the subject may not be quick to endorse it, thereby calling into question the project’s accuracy. However, the opposite can also be true. An adaptation with the subject heavily involved risks becoming too one-sided if there is an attempt to subvert some aspects, while presenting others more glowingly. For example, Madonna is set to direct her own biopic for fear of someone else misrepresenting her life experience, which has raised questions regarding the project’s subjectivity. For Mike Tyson, it seems like the former heavyweight champion wasn’t consulted regarding Mike, which does leave a gap of perspective in this take on the boxer/actor’s eventful and frequently controversial life. That said, it will be curious to see if this affects viewership for the show in any way.
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