Mike Tyson Speaks Out Against Hulu’s Upcoming Series Based on His Life, Calls It ‘Tone-Deaf, Cultural Misappropriation’

Mike Tyson attends Mike Tyson Celebrity Golf Tournament in support of Standing United on August 02, 2019 in Dana Point, California.
Mike Tyson attends Mike Tyson Celebrity Golf Tournament in support of Standing United on August 02, 2019 in Dana Point, California.
Photo: Joe Scarnici (Getty Images)

Just hours after Hulu announced the news of its limited series order about the life of Mike Tyson, the heavyweight boxing champion is speaking out against the streaming platform.


Variety reports that the series, titled Iron Mike, received an eight-episode order and is set to explore Tyson’s “wild tragic, and controversial life and career.” The limited series comes from I, Tonya writer Steven Rogers, who has also been tapped to executive producer along Craig Gillespie. Gillespie, who worked with Rogers as director on I, Tonya, will also direct Iron Mike. Margot Robbie for LuckyChap Entertainment, Tom Ackerley, Brett Hedblom, Bryan Unkeless and Scott Morgan for Clubhouse Pictures, Entertainment 360’s Darin Friedman and Karen Gist will also executive produce with Gist serving as showrunner. With that strong of a creative team, you might think Tyson would be looking forward to seeing how his life would unfold on the small screen. But given the fact that Tyson would NOT be involved with Hulu’s project, it’s safe to say that a vehement thumbs down from Tyson himself was to be expected.

After getting wind of the news, the legendary sports champion took to social media to express his grievances, penning an Instagram post:

Hulu’s announcement to do an unauthorized mini-series of the Tyson story without compensation, although unfortunate, isn’t surprising. 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. 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. The real Mike Tyson authorized story is in development and will be announced in coming days. Hulu to announce stealing a black athletes story during Black History month couldn’t be more inappropriate or tone deaf. #boycotthulu #corporategreed

In the post’s visual itself, he added: 

These actions taken by Hulu are just the tip of the iceberg. We shouldn’t be surprised by these abhorrent actions as they represent the systemic racism that has plagued Hollywood for its entire existence. These corporate giants hide behind ploysand praise themselves for offering tone-deaf attempts at ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’ like Hulu’s ‘Black Stories’ playlist that recommend stories about Black culture to viewers on the app. Yet behind closed doors they steal stories from the Black community.

I actually am surprised by Hulu’s news—mostly because I was expecting it to be about Jamie Foxx’s portrayal of him for an upcoming biopic and nothing else. I know Hollywood is normally on some other stuff, but making a biopic or related project about a real-life person and not having them be a a part of it is what my mom and aunties would call “stupid gone to seed.”

Do better Hulu, do better.


Mud Dedoochka

100% it’s about his raping and his wife beating. He and his people have done a pretty good job of stuffing his past down the cultural memory hole and he doesn’t want that back front and center.