It’s not for show — Mike Tyson’s truly pissed off that streaming service Hulu is making a TV series on the famed heavyweight boxing champ’s life story.
The eight-episode mini-series titled Tyson, set to debut on Aug. 25, is facing some obstacles on its walk-up to its release date after Tyson himself spoke out against the production; alleging that Hulu “stole” the rights to make a show about his life, and without any of the prize money going to Tyson.
Tyson expressed his umbrage with the series on social media, accusing Hulu of selling off his life story in a purely transactional move without consideration for the marquee man.
“Don’t let Hulu fool you. I don’t support their story about my life,” Tyson posted on his 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.”
Tyson kept pressing forward with the slavery comparison.
“Hulu is the streaming version of the slave master. They stole my story and didn’t pay me.”
The 56-year-old Baddest Man on the Planet announced the series’ pre-production back in February 2021.
As relayed by the New York Post, the original production headlined Martin Scorsese as a producer, with Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx playing the lead.
Several months and developments later, the Hulu production decided to move forward without Scorsese, and with actor Trevante Rhodes taking on the role of Tyson.
Based on the early footage, both the series and actor appear to be in great shape to make this show another splash for the trendy streaming service — which has seen recent hits such as The Bear, The Dropout and Predator prequel Prey up its exclusive slate of content.
Tyson called his stolen show a telltale of the company’s greed.
“Hulu’s model of stealing life rights of celebrities is egregiously greedy,” Tyson said. “Hulu stole my story. They’re Goliath and I’m David. Heads will roll for this.
“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 has transpired in 2020.”
Two of the show’s executive producers, Steven Rogers and Karin Gist, responded to Tyson’s jabs at Hulu.
“We just wanted to tell an unbiased story and have the audience decide what they think or feel,” Gist noted.
“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.”
“I would hope that if he watches it that he would change his opinion,” Rogers 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.”
Not giving up the fight, Tyson responded to the producers and did not relent on the exploitation of his story as a boxing champion and pariah.
“They say this story is an exploration of a Black man. It’s more like an exploitation of a Black man,” he 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.”
Question is: Are You Still Watching the series?