‘Mike’ Actor Russell Hornsby Responds to Mike Tyson Criticism: ‘We Did Not Try to Demonize Him’

Russell Hornsby and Mike Tyson (Credit: Shutterstock)

Mike star Russell Hornsby has a message for Mike Tyson: “You have to take the crooked with the straight.”

The actor, who plays legendary boxing promoter Don King, made the comment after Tyson criticized the Hulu miniseries, saying its creators “stole” his life story for the unauthorized project.

“He is not the first one to have a grievance about how he is portrayed in film or how he may be portrayed in books,” Hornsby told the New York Post. “This is a no-holds-barred look at Tyson and his life and you have to take the crooked with the straight.”

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Hornsby added that the series was made to “honor” Tyson and “show some truths.”

“We did not try to glorify him and we did not try to demonize him,” he said. “I think what we had intended to do was tell his story.”

For months, Tyson has expressed anger about the project on social media, saying it was made without his permission and he received no compensation for it.

“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 a n—-r they can sell on the auction block,” he wrote in an Aug. 6 Instagram post.

He also accused Hulu of “cultural misappropriation,” and urged his fans to boycott the company in a since-deleted February 2021 Instagram post when the series was announced.

Mike stars Trevante Rhodes in the title role. Additional cast members include Harvey Keitel, Laura Harrier, Li Eubanks, Olunike Adeliyi, and B.J. Minor.

The eight-part series premiered Aug. 25, with two episodes on Hulu followed by new episodes streaming weekly.

There’s also a film in the works about Tyson starring Jamie Foxx, which the boxer is backing.