Mike Tyson has come out swinging against US streaming service Hulu after it announced plans for a miniseries based on his life.
The former heavyweight champion accused Hulu of “tone-deaf cultural misappropriation” over Iron Mike and said Hollywood “needs to be more sensitive to black experiences”.
Hulu, which is owned by Disney, had announced the eight-part series and said it would explore the controversial boxer’s life and career.
Tyson was an explosive force in the ring but in 1992 was convicted of rape and served three years of a six-year prison sentence.
He said Hulu’s miniseries, which will be executive produced by Hollywood actress Margot Robbie, is unauthorised and he has not been compensated.
Tyson said: “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.”
Tyson, 54, promised his “authorised story” is in development and will be announced “in coming days”.
He added: “Hulu to announce stealing a black athletes story during Black History month couldn’t be more inappropriate or tone deaf.”
Hulu has been contacted for comment. It previously said Iron Mike was created by Steven Rogers, who wrote 2017 sport film I, Tonya.
Tyson hung up his gloves in 2006, but returned to the ring in November last year for a bout with Roy Jones Jr, which ended in a draw.
Tyson played a fictionalised version of himself in 2009 comedy The Hangover and teamed up with director Spike Lee for a Broadway show in 2012.
In June last year, Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx confirmed a Tyson biopic was still in the works.