Boxing legend Mike Tyson continued to speak out against Hulu’s decision to move forward with a documentary series about his life in a Twitter post on Saturday.
Tyson released a statement to ET’s Philiana Ng on Thursday after the series’ executive producer, Steven Rogers, said the boxer could not be involved in the project because of rights issues:
“[That’s] a flat out lie. My life rights option expired years ago. Hulu nor any of their supercilious team ever tried to engage in any negotiations with this Black man. In their eyes I am still just a n—-r on the auction block ready to be sold for their profit without any regard for my worth or my family.
“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 frontmen for their backdoor robbery is appalling. I will always remember this blatant disregard of my dignity.”
Hulu announced in June it would release the series, entitled “MIKE,” starring Trevante Rhodes as Tyson on Aug. 25. It said the eight-episode show “explores the tumultuous ups and downs of Tyson’s boxing career and personal life—from being a beloved global athlete to a pariah and back again.”
Rogers and fellow executive producer Karin Gist said they wanted to tell Tyson’s story through a wide range of perspectives, per ET.
“For me, as a writer, as a storyteller, I don’t really like to be relying on just one source,” Rogers said. “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.”
Gist added: “We really wanted to make sure we were as broad as possible in the research and the dramatization of the events of his life and we could make sure we were opening the doors to other conversations to be had around those things as well. “
In March 2021, a separate biopic entitled “Tyson” with Jamie Foxx in the lead role was also being pitched to networks as a limited TV series. Tyson was scheduled to serve as an executive director for that project, per Peter White of Deadline.
Meanwhile, Rhodes told Rick Porter of the Hollywood Reporter he viewed Tyson as somebody who represented “specific Black men who give us an understanding of the Black male experience, and even more specifically the special Black male experience.”
“It’s my time—not as Trevante but as this iteration of a Black man,” he said.
Tyson was one of the most dominant heavyweight champions in boxing history, which earned him a place in the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
His life outside the ring is sure to be a focus of the documentary. Most notably, Tyson was sentenced to 10 years in prison for rape in 1992. Four years of the sentence were suspended by the judge, and he was released after serving three of the remaining six years.