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Hulu felt the full effects of a Mike Tyson hook over the weekend.
Tyson posted two company-ripping photos to his Instagram account weeks before Hulu launched “Mike” – an eight-episode limited series exploring the life of the legendary boxer. The show is scheduled to start on August 25.
“Hulu desperately tried to pay my brother @danawhite millions without offering me a dollar to promote their slave master who took over my life story. He turned it down because he honors friendship and treat people with dignity. I will never forget what he did for me, just like I will never forget what Hulu stole from me,” he wrote in the first post.
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The second post read, “Don’t let Hulu fool you. I don’t support their story about my life. It’s not 1822. It’s 2022. They stole my life story and didn’t give me paid. To Hulu executives, I’m just a n—– they can auction off.”
Karin Gist, showrunner for “Mike,” spoke about the series at TCA on Thursday.
“We just wanted to tell an unbiased story and let the audience decide what they think or feel,” Gist said. “Challenging what people think they know about Mike and hoping they come out of the show with something else to think about. Whether you love him or hate him, does the story make you wonder how complicit the company was? That was the intent, that was the North Star of the writers room as we crafted stories.”
This isn’t the first time the former heavyweight champion has taken on Hulu during the series.
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“Hulu’s announcement to do an unauthorized miniseries of my life, while unfortunate, is not surprising,” Tyson said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter in February 2021. “This announcement in the wake of disparities in our country is a prime example of how Hulu’s corporate greed has led to this tone-deaf cultural hijacking of my life story. Making this announcement during Black History Month only confirms the Hulu’s preoccupation with dollars over respecting the rights of black history Hollywood needs to be more sensitive to black experiences, especially after everything that’s happened in 2020. My Authorized Story is in development and will be announced in the next few days.
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It is not necessarily uncommon for projects by celebrities or famous athletes to be produced without the approval of the subject.
Jerry West, the former Los Angeles Lakers superstar and the figure on the NBA logo, took issue with how he was portrayed in the HBO series ‘Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty’. West demanded a retraction of his portrayal in April. HBO defended the show saying “is not a documentary and was not presented as such”.
Tyson is reportedly working on a different project about his life with Jamie Foxx and director Antoine Fuqua.