The Mike Tyson Dilemma – does promoting those who’ve done bad in the past imply support for their misdeeds?

I’m now subscribed to Peggy At The Movies – and will follow her work more closely because she left multiple good comments here!

Having been a blogger, on and off, for 20+ years now (my very first “diary” which became a blog was in 1999), I learned early on that the gold mine of topics often is inspired by you, dearest readers.

It pays huge dividends listening to what you say, think and do.

You might think I’m just brown-nosing, but it’s a fact, I’ve seen repeatedly played out. I enjoy and support spirited, passionate, yet responsibly moderated comments. The problem with Twitter and some other social media areas today is unmoderated comments. We end up with anonymous trolls going off the rails, not maintaining civility with their discourse. They don’t seem to understand the art of leaving constructive criticism.

Respect is the key.

The comments here are moderated for the protection of everybody — me, you, and others. We should be able to debate, discuss and disagree with each other respectfully. If you want to spew hatred at me, my wife or this site, go ahead and do it in your house or on Twitter, Insta, Facebook, whatever. I don’t have to subscribe, involve or respond, but you aren’t being silenced. If you come into my house and take a crap on our coffee table, I will ask you to leave. If the reverse were true, I’d expect the same.

There’s proof all over this site that we support contrarian viewpoints. Look at the compiled reviews. Movies I like some others dislike (some strongly dislike). Movies I despise, some others like, and so on. That’s the way this reviewing game rolls. I often include — in fact, I specifically seek out — contrarian reviews in our compiled reviews (example: ). I’ll keep doing so because just because a movie or TV show fits our tastes, doesn’t necessarily mean it fits yours. Neither of us are wrong, or can be, with our opinions. Taste is taste. It varies.

I’ve been watching movies and TV for 45+ years now. I’m at the very least an expert in what are my personal likes and dislike. Nobody can or will tell me what I should like/dislike. However, I’m open to understanding and discussing why something I like isn’t appreciated and enjoyed by others or the reverse. I’m willing to consider downplaying coverage at this website of something that others find distasteful and offensive.

(Sidebar: I don’t post here only or even primarily with the goal of attracting clicks and subscribers. Look around. No advertising. No money-making schemes, no affiliate links. We pay for everything you see and read with either our time or hard-earned money — of which we both have regular full time 40+ hour week totally unrelated jobs. We are not shills for anything or anybody except, I guess, ourselves. At least as of this writing, it’s that way. Someday, we’ll likely monetize this site in some way. How we do that remains to be seen, but as of this writing, there’s no monetization. The ad for wordpress.com at the footer of this blog is required for the premium hosting plan we pay for. If we go to the next level, which costs around $300/year, we can remove that single, persistent text ad. And we will when/if we do upgrade someday. That will be the first thing that gets axed. WordPress.com doesn’t need any more ad support from our work.)

This all said, we invite comments that disagree and we can discuss or debate a topic in a passionate and civil manner. I personally learn from these discussions.

So, today’s learning lesson comes courtesy of peggyatthemovies.com comment on the FIRST LOOK for Mike Tyson’s animated TV show (see: FIRST LOOK: Mike Tyson Mysteries (Animated TV Series) – Hulu).

Peggy has, in part, taken exception with all the promotion surrounding Mike Tyson lately, not only directly at our site, but in general everywhere in the entertainment world, see her first comment:

Yes, I “Liked” her comment. Zero sarcasm, respect.

I loved Peggy’s comment, as it made me think deeper behind what Mike Tyson is doing by coming back into the spotlight with his exhibition fight with Roy Jones Jr. (see: Will you pay $49.99 to watch Mike Tyson in exhibition fight vs. Roy Jones Jr?)

In that post I questioned whether or not to even cover a Pay Per View (PPV) TV event at this blog. We’re about movies, primarily, and to a lesser extent TV. PPV sporting events seem admittedly a bit off topic.

Something else I didn’t mention in my post, however, is what Peggy is questioning in her comment: does Mike Tyson deserve any sort of promotion?

I did consider this, as how a post will be perceived does enter into my mind. The guy has had a very dark past, but in the sports world where he operates, brutality is part of the sport. Mike Tyson was a ferocious beast in the ring. I can’t, don’t and won’t ever condone his treatment outside of the ring involving women. Peggy brings up this specifically in her follow-up comment:

You can follow and read my comment reply to Peggy in the linked post, but will expand on that here.

I don’t think Mike did Shark Week to “make it all better” I think that somebody from Discovery came to him with a big check and he said, “OK” Mike Tyson was scared so much of those sharks that it made him vomit.

I wrote about and posted about this Shark Week event here because I thought it was ridiculous and funny (see: FIRST LOOK: Tyson vs. Jaws: Rumble On The Reef – Discovery GO (TV)) not because I wanted to promote Mike Tyson’s past misdeeds of women.

Too many times online sometimes people mix up intentions and motives with support. Those are not mutually exclusive concepts. Because we post about an event or movie or TV show involving actors, actresses, directors or producers that have done bad things outside the creative work should never, ever, ever infer that we support those misdeeds.

I don’t think the same for any other publication, however small (like ours) or big (like Discovery), unless the people at the publication are talking about how great a person is. I’ve never said Mike Tyson was a great human being. I don’t think anybody at Discovery said Mike was great over the Shark Week thing. They were using Tyson’s aggressive persona to pit him against one of the most vicious animal predators. I thought the whole event was pretty off the hook so, yes, I’ll write about and share that. Read my post. It’s clearly playful in spirit.

No, I didn’t bring up what Mike Tyson did with women. I also didn’t bring up what his punishment was for that prior behavior. I did mention that he is saying — and whether or not it’s true, is a whole other discussion — that his purse for the exhibition fight will be donated to charity. It’s possible that people who have done terrible things in the past can do something nice for others in the future. Should we deny helping a good cause because a “bad person” is involved with the project?

Mike Tyson served time in prison and was released. As far as I’m concerned, there is nothing legally that prevents him from coming back into society and, if he wants, boxing again. Or doing crazy Shark Week events and/or just living his life how he sees fit, as long as it doesn’t break the law and/or involve abusing women or others. I’ll be among the first to criticize Mike’s transgressions, should he fall back into that path. Maybe a leopard doesn’t change its spots, maybe Tyson will forever be this bad person, but I still am interested in seeing him boxing again. Even if it turns out to be a farce (and it probably will). That might make me a sucker, but he was so vicious in the ring when he competed that there was an excitement that just demanded viewership. Biting Evander Holyfield’s ear, devastating opponents with his vicious left hook or uppercut. The boxer Tyson was something in sports we’ve never seen before — or since.

The dilemma is that he is a convicted rapist. So, when we talk about how good he was at one time in the sport where he competed, he also behaved very badly at times outside the ring.

The question Peggy raises is a very good one and admit not having the complete answer, even after thinking about it for over the last day now.

Does it imply support when you promote a project that someone has done something bad with?

This isn’t the first time this topic has come up, by the way. I asked the same thing in a DC Universe forum thread created here: Can/Do You Separate the Creator’s Actions From The Art? (Examples: Roman Polanski, Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby)

Some great answers to the topic there as well, if you want to follow. I welcome your civil, respectful comments here, even when and if you disagree (please do). I will readily admit that I’m less interested in posting, following, watching and reviewing projects involving some people like Kevin Spacey and Roman Polanski. Mike Tyson is a bit of a different case, like his cartoon is so crazy and unusual I don’t really associate that as promoting him as I would with a Roman Polanski project (see: Disgraced Sexual Assaulter Roman Polanski Wins Award at ‘French Oscars’)

Forgive me if this post seems a bit rambling. Peggy has raised a topic I find fascinating and worth exploring. I readily admit not having the perfect answer to the question. It should be noted she has a third and final comment on the post which you can follow where she acknowledges that this isn’t necessarily being critical of this blog. Like maybe she felt some regret getting passionate about the subject, but we like your passion, Peggy. Nothing wrong being angry about what Mike Tyson did to women and him being a poster child for #metoo.

I would only respectfully request that condemning any project he is involved with for others might not be the be-all, end-all solution. In fact, anything Tyson does provides for renewed discussions about whether or not people should want to support paying for any project he’s involved with. Just as we’re having the discussion here and now.

There are a lot of other people involved with any project and should we be denying these people income simply because Mike Tyson is involved? I’m sure at least some women work at Discovery (Shark Week event) and am sure at least some women will be involved with the exhibition fight with Roy Jones, Jr.

Bottom line: the most important thing to understand is that just because we post about some project here at this site, maybe some we’re even excited to watch or review, does not mean we support bad behavior or misdeeds of people involved with said project. If that’s not a clear disclaimer, hopefully with this post it now becomes that way.

What do you think? Does promotion of a project by someone with past or present misdeeds imply support for that person’s bad actions?

5 thoughts on “The Mike Tyson Dilemma – does promoting those who’ve done bad in the past imply support for their misdeeds?

  1. I’m not a fan of seeing Tyson in the mix in the Hangover films for example. But I wouldn’t refuse to review the whole film because he has a brief cameo. And I’m not keen on damming any project just because of the personal life of one person.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think Tyson was only in the first Hangover, yes/no? I don’t remember the other two sequels (which speaks to how good of films they were). Liked the first Hangover film, though and must admit laughed over the Tyson tiger bit.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Point would be; do I need to check the status of every cast and crew member in terms of criminality before watching or reviewing? Film is collaborative, and even if there’s known transgressions, in most cases, I think we have to look at the film as what’s under review!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That is true. It’s reasonable to suggest that somebody in the long cast and crew of many projects have some sort of problem we probably disagree with. Look at all the films Harvey Weinstein was associated with? Do we just boycott watching every Miramax film? Some films? It’s a mega slippery slope and no matter how well-intentioned someone might be trying not to support someone’s bad behavior, they will fail on some level — probably unknown to them, but still.

        Liked by 1 person

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