In early November, Mike Tyson released his autobiography, Undisputed Truth, and a companion documentary on HBO. The memoir contained some shocking new details about his life and career and the documentary complemented the book, but in a lighter and more playful tone. Both the book and show received mixed reviews from fans and critics.
In this autobiography, Tyson revealed he was using drugs throughout his life and also during some of his major fights. “I was a full-blown cokehead,” he writes and admits to trying cocaine as early as age 11. He also claims to have used someone else’s sample in drug tests.
In his documentary, Tyson discusses his career, his drug abuse and his rape conviction.
On Twitter, some of Tyson’s fans posted their thoughts on the documentary:
“Omg, just seen #Undisputed Truth @MikeTyson You’re still the #Champ one of my idols for life. Thanks for sharing your story with us!”
“Watching @MikeTyson hbo special #UndisputedTruth #awesome.”
Other Twitter followers were shocked:
“Watching #UndisputedTruth – now I don’t even know WHAT to think about Tyson.”
One reporter critiqued the authenticity of the documentary, stating that it was a “stagy, fan-friendly version of a very divisive figure” and a “marketing ploy.”
Even though Tyson faced criticism, the transparency of Tyson’s confessions helped the world see his version of what he was going through and helped him garner support.
Do you think distribution of Tyson’s autobiography and HBO documentary was a good move for Tyson’s reputation? If you were working as a public relations professional for Tyson, would you advise that he do this? Do you think just producing either the book or the movie would have sufficed or do both go together well?