The controversial fighting champion doubled down on claims that he does not support the production of Mike, the upcoming eight-episode series set to explore the ups and downs of his prolific boxing career and volatile personal life. "Don't let Hulu fool you," Tyson wrote in a statement shared on Instagram. "I don't support their story about my life. 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****r they can sell on the auction block," he continued, captioning the post, "Hulu is the streaming version of the slave master. They stole my story and didn't pay me." In another post, Tyson claimed Hulu "tried to desperately pay" Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, "millions without offering me a dollar to promote their slave master take over story about my life."
White "turned it down because he honors friendship and treating people with dignity," Tyson continued. "I'll never forget what he did for me just like I'll never forget what Hulu stole from me."
EW has reached out to Hulu for comment on Tyson's remarks.
The series from creator Steven Rogers and showrunner Karin Gist stars Moonlight's Trevante Rhodes as the titular boxer. It will explore the highs and lows of Tyson's career and life, "from being a beloved global athlete to a pariah and back again," according to its synopsis. Mike will also highlight Tyson's marriage to Robin Givens (Laura Harrier), who has accused the boxer of domestic violence.
"The show is not meant to glorify his life," Gist previously told EW in a first look at the series. "We were never trying to say that Mike Tyson is a hero or Mike Tyson is a villain. Our goal was to take a very complicated and controversial figure and try to get under the hood of what he was praised and vilified for while staying true to our North Star of 'no one person is one thing.'"
Phillip Faraone/Getty Mike Tyson accuses Hulu of stealing his life story for upcoming miniseries, calls it exploitation
As for Tyson, he previously condemned the adaptation when it was announced earlier this year, calling it a "tone-deaf cultural misappropriation" of his life. During the show's virtual Television Critics Association panel earlier this week, Rogers addressed the criticism. "We actually couldn't talk to him because his life rights were already taken, so that was never on the table," Rogers said, per TheWrap. "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," he continued. "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." When reached for comment by EW Sunday, Tyson further lambasted the streamer and called Rogers' comments a "flat out lie."
"My life rights option expired years ago," Tyson said via his rep. "Hulu nor any of their supercilious team ever tried to engage in any negotiations with this Black man." He added, "They say this story is an exploration of a Black man. It's more like an exploitation of a Black man. Hulu thinks their tracks are covered by hiring Black sacrificial lambs to play the part as front men for their backdoor robbery. I will always remember this blatant disregard of my dignity."
Mike debuts Aug. 25 on Hulu. Watch the trailer in the video above.
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