Mike Tyson vows to make 'heads roll' over unauthorised Hulu series

Mike Tyson has taken aim at streaming service Hulu, accusing them of "stealing" his life story without compensation.

'Mike' is set to premiere on Hulu on August 25. It will run for eight episodes and stars Trevante Rhodes as the controversial former heavyweight champion.

Tyson is clearly not supportive of the upcoming show, which is being made without his involvement or consent, and hasn't been holding back on social media.

"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 added: "Hulu is the streaming version of the slave master. They stole my story and didn't pay me."

The former boxer made similar comments on Twitter.

"Hulu's model of stealing life rights of celebrities is egregiously greedy," he wrote.

"Hulu stole my story. They're Goliath and I'm David. Heads will roll for this."

Biopics are frequently made without the subject's approval but Tyson isn't taking it lying down.

He also spoke out strongly against the show when it was first announced 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."

A month later, he announced that an "authorised" version of his life story was being developed starring Jamie Foxx, with Martin Scorcese producing.

The producers of the upcoming Hulu show, Steven Rogers and Karin Gist, responded to Tyson's criticism, and said their intention was to create an "unbiased" story on the boxer's tumultuous life and career, which included some incredible highs in the boxing ring but also some real lows such as his rape conviction in 1992 and subsequent six-year jail sentence.

"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."

But Tyson wasn't having any of it.

"They say this story is an exploration of a Black man. It's more like an exploitation of a Black man," he hit back.

"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."

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