Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson is castigating Hulu over the streaming service's upcoming unauthorized miniseries bio. Tyson is cooperating with a film biography being developed by Antoine Fuqua and Martin Scorsese and set to star Jamie Foxx.
Tyson, 56, had first expressed his displeasure on social media Friday by saying his friend Dana White, president of the UFC mixed-martial-arts league, had turned down "millions" offered to promote the miniseries. Then on Saturday Tyson posted graphical text on Instagram, saying, "Don't let Hulu fool you. 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. To Hulu executives I'm just ... [someone] they can sell on the auction block."
In the post's text portion he wrote, "Hulu is the streaming version of the slave master. They stole my story and didn't pay me." Foxx, star of the authorized Tyson miniseries in development, commented, "Love u bro."
On Twitter, Tyson additionally wrote, "Hulu stole my story. They're Goliath and I'm David. Heads will roll for this,” and later he posted, "Hulu's model of stealing life rights of celebrities is egregiously greedy."
Hulu had no comment on Tyson's assertions. Karin Gist, showrunner of the eight-episode "Mike," premiering Aug. 25 and starring Trevante Rhodes, said at the semiannual Television Critics Association press tour Thursday: "We just wanted to tell an unbiased story and have the audience decide what they think or feel. Challenging what people think they know about Mike and hoping that they come away from the series with something else to think about. Whether you like him or hate him, does the story make you question how complicit society has been?"
According to attorneys, public figures generally cannot control what is written or portrayed about them, barring outright slander or libel. Various states' right-of-publicity laws give individuals some control over how their name, likeness and similar specific features are commercially exploited, usually in terms of merchandising or advertising.