Hulu’s Mike, an eight-part unauthorized series about the life of boxing champion Mike Tyson (Trevante Rhodes), covered quite a bit of ground in Season 1. Going from beloved global athlete to outcast and back again, the show documents the ups and downs of Tyson’s boxing career and personal life, including his tumultuous marriage to Robin Givens (Laura Harrier). All in, Mike also explores themes of misogyny, class and race in America and the role the media and public have played in shaping Tyson’s story. Given the duration covered, as well as its limited series billing, however, Mike is unlikely to return for Season 2.
Anyway, the reviews didn’t exactly give Mike not ecstatic either. Although several outlets agreed that Rhodes gave a “knockout performance”, they also felt that the series was “ultimately losing the fight”. Meanwhile, Daniel Fienberg wrote in his August 23 review for The Hollywood Reporter that the series “does too many hits”, citing the “biggest problem with Mikebeing that “it’s far too generous to its unauthorized subject matter.” Fienberg added, “In reality, it’s hard to imagine anyone doing a nicer story about the former heavyweight champion and rapist. sentenced.”
That wasn’t the only controversy the miniseries endured throughout its run. When Hulu first announced Mike in February 2021, Tyson condemned the series on social media, saying the company failed to compensate him, blaming “Hulu’s corporate greed” for the “deaf cultural misappropriation of Tyson’s life story” . Later, as the show’s August 25 premiere date approached, the boxer blasted the show again on social media.
“Don’t let Hulu fool you,” he wrote via Instagram on August 6. “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 only ‘un…they can auction.
A few days earlier, series creator Steven Rogers explained his position during a virtual Television Critics Association panel on Aug. 4, sharing that he relied on “extensive research into factual accounts, interviews, [and] images of real events’ for the show. “Actually, we couldn’t talk to [Tyson] because his lifetime rights were already taken, so it was never on the table,” he told reporters, according to TheWrap. “I hope if he looks at it, he changes his mind.”
Meanwhile, showrunner Karin Gist said Weekly entertainment in June that Mike “is not intended to glorify” the boxer’s life. “We never tried to say Mike Tyson is a hero or Mike Tyson is a villain,” she explained. “Our goal was to take a very complicated and controversial character and try to get under the hood of what he was praised and reviled for while still staying true to our North Star of ‘nobody’s a thing’.”
Although some critics don’t quite agree, it seems that Mike was never destined for a comeback anyway.