Mike Tyson Calls Hulu ‛Slave Master’

Mike Tyson called Hulu a “slave master” when the streaming giant allegedly did not ask his permission to use his life story for the limited series “Mike”

Mike Tyson. Photo courtesy of @miketyson Instagram page.

Mike Tyson accused Hulu of profiteering from his life narrative with an eight-part limited series on the former heavyweight boxing champion. Tyson took to Instagram to call out Hulu for developing the “Mike” series without his permission or compensation. “Don’t let Hulu fool you,” Tyson wrote. “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.” He also described the streaming company as a slave master. “Hulu is the streaming version of the slave master. They stole my story and didn’t pay me,” his Instagram post caption reads.

In another post, he said that Hulu approached the Irish American Dana White, president of the global mixed martial arts organization Ultimate Fighting Championship. The streaming giant allegedly offered White millions in exchange for his participation to develop “Mike.” “Hulu tried to desperately pay my brother @danawhite millions without offering me a dollar to promote their slave master take over story about my life,” Tyson wrote. “He turned it down because he honors friendship and treating people with dignity.  I’ll never forget what he did for me just like I’ll never forget what Hulu stole from me.”

Trevante Rhodes plays Mike Tyson in the Hulu limited series “Mike.” Photo courtesy of Hulu.

Tyson has previously expressed displeasure when Hulu announced the series back in February. “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 said in a press statement, as reported by The Wrap.

Hulu has not released a direct reponse to Mike Tyson’s accussations. Showrunner Karin Gist, however, has been previously quoted to describe the film as not a love letter nor an indictment. “The show is not meant to glorify his life,” Gist said, as reported by Entertainment Weekly. “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.’”

Trevante Rhodes plays Mike Tyson, and Russell Hornsby plays Don King, Tyson’s boxing promoter, in the series. In an interview with Pop Culture, Hornsby said that he was nervous during the production with how King would perceive the series. Based on the actor’s responses, it seems that the show also did not hold back from depicting the good and the bad. “And so where did this behavior come from? How did it come about? How did it manifest? And I look to ask those questions,” Hornsby said in the interview. 


With Tyson refusing to associate himself with the series, Shadow and Act reports that the series may include many nonflattering parts from this life. The series will explore all the highs and lows of Tyson’s career, including his violent relationship with Robin Givens, domestic abuse accusations, his jail sentence, and more. Of course, the series appears to highlight Tyson’s ability to re-establish himself in the public eye. “The series examines class in America, race in America, fame and the power of media, misogyny, the wealth divide, the promise of the American Dream,” the series description states. And the company seems to be leaning into Tyson’s renunciation. “Mike is an unauthorized and no-holds-barred look at the life of Mike Tyson — and it is one wild ride.”

The limited series “Mike” premieres on August 25, 2022.

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