Mike Tyson has called for fans to boycott streaming service Hulu after the company announced an “unauthorized” mini-series on the boxing icon, which Tyson labeled “corporate greed” and “tone-deaf cultural misappropriation.”
Hulu excitedly announced the eight-episode limited series ‘Iron Mike’ this week, saying it would “explore the wild, tragic and controversial life and career behind one of the most polarizing figures in sports culture.”
The series is written and produced by the makers of the 2017 film ‘I, Tonya’, which starred Margot Robbie and focused on the life of infamous US figure skater Tonya Harding.
The announcement that Tyson would be featured in a series on the Disney-owned platform did not go down well with the former world heavyweight champion, who took to Instagram to vent his disgust.
“Hulu’s announcement to do an unauthorized mini-series of the Tyson story without compensation, although unfortunate, isn’t surprising,” Tyson wrote to his 14.5 million followers.
“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.”
Tyson, 54, was one of the most controversial sports stars of his or any other generation, exploding onto the scene to become the youngest-ever world heavyweight champion at the age of just 20 in 1986.
He went on to become undisputed heavyweight ruler but saw his private life spiral out of control as he was jailed for rape. His ring return also saw the infamous ear-biting incident against Evander Holyfield in their rematch in 1997.
A far more mellow Tyson made a comeback to the ring last November after a 15-year absence, fighting fellow veteran Roy Jones Jr in an exhibition bout in Los Angeles.
Reports claim that Tyson and former rival Holyfield are in discussions for a bumper trilogy fight which would net the pair up to $200 million between them.
Responding to the Hulu series based on his life, Tyson said he would be developing an authorized story for fans.
“The real Mike Tyson authorized story is in development and will be announced in coming days,” the star wrote.
“Hulu to announce stealing a black athletes story during Black History month couldn’t be more inappropriate or tone deaf. #boycotthulu #corporategreed.”