LOS ANGELES — Hulu announced it has ordered a limited series dramatizing the life of boxing great Mike Tyson, who quickly slammed the production as “cultural misappropriation.”
In a press release Thursday, Hulu said “Iron Mike” will explore “the wild, tragic and controversial life and career” of a polarizing athlete.
Tyson, who is not involved in the project, criticized Hulu on social media, saying the series smacked of insensitivity.
“Hulu’s announcement to do an unauthorized mini-series of the Tyson story without compensation, although unfortunate, isn’t surprising,” Tyson said in an Instagram post. “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.”
Hulu didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Tyson's post further criticized the announcement’s timing — during Black History Month — and called on Hollywood to “be more sensitive to Black experiences, especially after all that has transpired in 2020.”
An “authorized” autobiographical project would be announced in the coming days, Tyson said.
The eight-episode “Iron Mike” is from the makers of “I, Tonya,” the 2017 movie that starred Margot Robbie as ice skater Tonya Harding.
Below is Tyson's full statement:
"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 story during Black History month couldn't be more inappropriate or tone deaf."