Boxing legend Mike Tyson has called for a boycott of Hulu after the streaming service on Thursday announced an unauthorized, eight-episode miniseries of the former heavyweight champ, titled “Iron Mike.”
Director Craig Gillespie, writer Steven Rogers and producer Margot Robbie — the team behind the 2017 film, “I, Tonya” — will lead the project. Tyson on Instagram accused Hulu not only of “cultural misappropriation,” but also of “stealing a black athlete’s story.” He also teased a rival, authorized project to counter Hulu’s:
Tyson said Hulu’s announcement is particularly egregious, considering that it came during Black History Month; he also claimed it to be “tone-deaf” after recent months during which issues of racial and social disparity have been more pronounced in media coverage and public discourse.
Below are Tyson’s full statements on Hulu’s announcement:
“Hulu’s announcement to do an unauthorized mini-series of the Tyson story without compensation, although unfortunate, isn’t surprising. 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. The real Mike Tyson authorized story is in development and will be announced in coming days. Hulu to announce stealing a black athletes (sic) story during Black History month couldn’t be more inappropriate or tone deaf. #boycotthulu #corporategreed
These actions taken by Hulu are just the tip of the iceberg. We shouldn’t be surprised by these abhorrent actions as they represent the systemic racism that has plagued Hollywood for its entire existence. These corporate giants hide behind plays and praise themselves for offering tone-deaf attempts at diversity and inclusion like Hulu’s “Black Stories” playlist that recommends stories about Black culture to viewers on the app. Yet behind closed doors they steal stories from the Black community. #BoycottHulu”