‘Mike’ miniseries on Hulu tells Tyson’s real story, then lets him off the hook

Mike Tyson in the ring and Trevante Rhodes, who plays him in “Mike”.

Hulu calls them Mike miniseries “an unauthorized and unrestricted look at the life of Mike Tyson”. Since it is unauthorized, Tyson had no say in the content and was not paid.

Totally in character, the former champ talks the eight-parter which chronicles his boxing career which was marred by a rape conviction and bit off part of Evander Holyfield’s ear during their infamous match for the heavyweight title from 1997 to instagram:

Don’t let Hulu fool you. I can’t stand their story about my life. It’s not 1822, it’s 2022. They stole my life story and didn’t pay me. For Hulu executives, I’m just an****r they can auction off.”

It recalls Tyson’s verbal attack on a reporter who dared to ask him about the bite. “I’m going to eat your asshole alive” was one of the most disgusting comments he made that day, which is featured in the show’s latest episode.

It’s Tyson’s story and life, but he’s not the only one who can tell it. The poor kid grows up in Brooklyn, learns to fight to protect himself, and discovers he has great physical strength that will lead to a series of first-round knockouts and ultimately the heavyweight title. Everyone knows the bad things he’s done. Some excuse him for this, saying he paid the price with three years in prison and a one-year boxing ban after the bite. In March, Tyson’s cannabis company posted a product mocking the incident, indicating that he has no remorse. He also never apologized to Desiree Washington (Li Eubanks)the beauty queen candidate he raped in 1991 when she was just 18.

“Desiree Washington is the girl who caught Tyson’s attention at the wrong time. She never stood a chance.”

Some would argue that Washington allowed Tyson to take her to his hotel room at 2 a.m. and therefore it was his fault for what he did to her that night. Tyson never denied having sex, just that it was consensual. It was not. She should never have gotten into his limo when he called her. It was his mistake. (Also giving him his number.) But everything else was on Tyson. Some say he was mocked by the jury. If Washington was white, he might have a case. The series makes it clear in the episode “Desiree” that she never made a dime from her conviction. Desiree was just the girl who caught his eye at the wrong time. She never had a chance.

His marriage to actress Robin Givens (Laura Harrier), depicted in episode 3 (“Lover”), is another example of Tyson’s abusive behavior towards women. When she and her mother question his finances and suggest he’s being ripped off by his managers, who were white before Don King (Russell Hornsby) took over, Tyson assaults her. “When I drink and take coke, I’ll fight you,” he said of Givens. “When I smoke weed, I’ll give you all my money.”

This is attributed to bipolar disorder, explaining Tyson’s wild mood swings. For Mike, life was one big sport: boxing fighters in the ring and threatening everyone outside. Tyson has become the “monster” he calls himself in the series’ running monologue performed by Trevante Rhodes.

After the Holyfield debacle, Tyson’s career continued to deteriorate (he actually bit Lennox Lewis on the leg before their fight) until he finally decided to quit boxing and part ways with King. Tyson marries Kiki Spicer (Ash Santos), his third wife, and they have several children. At the end of the series, things look up for Tyson. “I am the American dream,” he says. “From nothing to something.”

So despite his complaint about the miniseries, Tyson is treated like a phoenix, a man who can overcome his flaws and become a better person. Twenty years later, with using cannabis and psychedelics, Tyson claims he is a new man. But deep down you must be wondering where the old Tyson is hiding and what he really thinks about what he did.

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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of CelebStoner.com, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.

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