Combat sports icon Mike Tyson is now asking his followers to stop supporting Hulu. The former world heavyweight boxing champion took to social media to slam the Disney-owned company for “systemic racism” and “corporate greed.”
This week, Hulu announced an 8-episode limited series about Tyson titled Iron Mike. Apparently, the central figure in the story was not involved in the making of the upcoming program created by I, Tonya screenwriter Steven Rogers.
Tyson wrote on Instagram:
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. #boycotthulu #corporategreed
Tyson also added another message to that Instagram post. It read:
These actions taken by Hulu are just the tip of the iceberg. We shouldn’t be surprised by these abhorrent actions as they represent systemic racism that has plagued Hollywood for its entire existence. These corporate giants hide behind ploys 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.
The public has seen other celebrities attempt to put pressure on streaming services in order to acquire what they see as proper compensation for their content. Those efforts at using fan leverage have had varying levels of success.
Mo’Nique’s call to boycott Netflix over racial and gender discrimination in 2018 did not get widespread backing. The Oscar winner was even ridiculed at the time for suggesting people no longer use the service as a way to push back against a reported $500,000 offer for a stand-up special when other comics were making seven to eight figures.
In contrast, Dave Chappelle recently scored a huge victory when his public pressure campaign forced Netflix to renegotiate a deal to stream the classic Chappelle’s Show on the platform. The legendary comedian thanked his fans for their help.
“When you stopped watching it, they called me and I got my name back. And I got my license back. And I got my show back. And they paid me millions of dollars. Thank you very much,” said Chappelle in his “Redemption Song” clip posted to Instagram.