Mike Tyson is going to be on Law & Order Special Victims Unit.


You read that right: convicted rapist Mike Tyson has a guest appearance coming up on the American TV drama whose main subject matter is sexual violence and the criminal justice system. Granted, they already have Ice-T who is fairly problematic from a feminist perspective, well, really the whole concept of the show is problematic insofar as the use of VAW as entertainment helps to normalise it, but, come on, hiring Mike Tyson?

The hiring of convicted rapist, violent offender and perpetrator of domestic violence Mike Tyson is just taking the piss completely. FGS, the episode is being advertised as “Mike Tyson to Punch up Law & Order SVU”; although that article does helpfully point out that Tyson’s role as death row inmate “likely won’t be particularly challenging for Tyson, as he’s also spent time behind bars before, serving three years in prison for rape.” Good to know that pesky  little rape charge has given Tyson the necessary experience to parlay his career in violence into a career in acting. 

This, apparently, is the response by showrunner Warren Leight to the criticisms raised.

“We understand the casting of Mike Tyson seems inappropriate to some SVU fans. While in no way excusing his past actions, it’s worth noting MT was convicted over twenty years ago, and served his time. In recent years he has found sobriety, and started a foundation to meet the comprehensive needs of children from broken homes. The episode itself deals with many issues, including the ongoing effects of childhood abuse, the possibility of rehabilition, and the potential for disastrous results when individuals and/or the justice system pre-judge or fail to contextualize. Because of SVU’s subject matter, all of us have a profound sense of our responsibility. Our intent, as always, is to provoke discussion and awareness. We ask you to keep an open mind. Thanks.”

It is worth noting that Mike Tyson was convicted over 20 years ago. It’s also worth noting that he has never taken personal responsibility for the crime. In fact, as recently as last year, he was labelling Desiree Washington a liar. It was hard to miss that piece of information since Tyson said during his Broadway show directed by Spike Lee. Other noted parts of the show: jokes about physically assaulting ex-wife Robin Givens and that whole accidental-biting-off of Evander Holyfield’s ear. That sounds to me like a rapist whose accepted the fact that he’s innocent of rape. Or, was that supposed to be accept that he’s guilty of rape? Does Leight know the difference?


I’m keeping an open mind here. My open mind remembers this article by Soraya Chemaly on 50 Actual Facts about Rape. It recalls this piece by Lauren Wolfe on Why Steubenville is not Dehli. It remembers the fact that the rape victim of Ched Evans had to change her name and leave the country to get away from pro-rape bullies. It remembers Steven Pollock receiving a non-custodial sentence for raping an unconscious 13 year old. It remembers the massive cover-up of Jimmy Savile’s 40 year career of sexual violence. It remembers convicted child rapist Roman Polanski, who fled the jurisdiction to escape prison, getting a standing ovation at the Oscars. It remembers the new James Bond film Skyfall including a scene where Bond rapes an adult survivor of child sex trafficking.


Warren Leight, like Spike Lee, clearly doesn’t remember any of this. Or, he cares more about money than he does the millions of women and children across this world raped daily who don’t need to see another convicted rapist get to play the victim.

There is a petition here requesting that NBC consider recasting the role played by Mike Tyson.

Please sign and share.

Ocean Rooms in Gorleston tell a Feminist Activist to STFU

Ocean Rooms in Gorleston aren’t content with having the convicted rapist Mike Tyson appear in their venue. They are now actively telling feminist activist Kim Graham to stop whining about it. This is Graham’s original tweet to @Ocean_Room
Kim Graham ‏@dizzy84.@Ocean_Room I’d rather not have convicted rapist, Mike Tyson appearing as a “special guest”, right on my doorstep, thanks.

And this is their reply:

Ocean Room Gorleston ‏@Ocean_Room@dizzy84 he pays people’s wadges tickets are nearly sold out keep your opinions to yourselves maybe ?

Way to support rape culture there. Not only giving the convicted rapist a platform in which he gets to whine about not actually being a rapist because he was, like, set-up. Cus, he’s a celebrity. And, celebrities don’t need to rape women. Now, they’re telling women to shut up. 

The Ocean Rooms are still pretending they aren’t involved in the Mike Tyson event because it’s being put on by someone. Now, I might be a bit confused here but I’m pretty sure that by renting out their space to a convicted rapist, they are, in fact, involved in supporting a rapist [and that’s without getting into the issue of Tyson’s history of domestic violence]. They also think its totally irrelevant that the organiser of this little piece of pro-rape bullshit thinks that Tyson is a “wrongly-convicted rapist”. Kim Graham has already been in touch with the organiser, Carl Moore, who is the one claiming that Tyson was “wrongly-convicted”. So, not only are Ocean Rooms hosting a convicted rapist, they are passing the buck onto the organiser who is a rape-denier. Way to stay classy there Dudes.

Tyson is due to speak at the Ocean Rooms in Gorleston on October 12th. There is a petition available here. This is the text of the petition: 


Mike Tyson is a convicted rapist who served three years of a six year sentence for raping an 18 year old woman. He has been completely unrepentant.
We see fewer than 6% of rapists convicted of their crimes, and even in the result of a conviction, survivors and victims struggle to be believed. By providing an event that celebrates a convicted rapist, we send the message out that rapists are role models; a harmful message for both survivors and for young people. 
The idea of giving a convicted rapist a “hero’s welcome” is both deeply offensive and damaging.
You can also contact the venue directly: 

Ocean Rooms
Pier Gardens
Gorleston, Norfolk
NR31 6PP
Phone: 01493 667890
http://www.oceanroom.co.uk

Do feel free to contact @Ocean_Room directly on twitter!

So, Mike Tyson is a "Wrongly- Convicted" Rapist"

At least, one of the organisers of Mike Tyson’s latest money-making event is claiming that he’s a “wrongly convicted rapist” in a phone conversation with a local resident Kim Graham who is concerned about the hero-worshipping of a convicted rapist. Tyson, you know, the convicted rapist, is now a “motivational speaker” and has been invited to speak at a dinner event in Gorleston, Norfolk. Quite why anyone would pay to hear a convicted rapist claim not to be a rapist is beyond me. Mostly, Tyson makes me equally nauseous and angry. He continues to minimise his violent behaviour and his conviction for rape [not to mention those pesky domestic violence rumours he likes to pretend aren’t true]. Yet, people still pay to hear him deny his violence. He’s even got Spike Lee to direct him in a one-man play. And, people claim we don’t live in a society that hates women. 


Carl Moore, who is sponsoring the event with EBF Boxing [I’ve never heard of either of them but have duly noted their names under the heading of arsehole misogynists] is the man responsible for this “wrongly-convicted” malarkey. Other venues have canceled Tyson’s “motivational speeches” after a public outcry. We need to make it clear that convicted rapists aren’t heroes. Men who violently rape 18 year olds aren’t misunderstood or deserving of sympathy. They deserve our condemnation.

Tyson is due to speak at the Ocean Rooms in Gorleston on October 12th. There is a petition available here. This is the text of the petition: 
Mike Tyson is a convicted rapist who served three years of a six year sentence for raping an 18 year old woman. He has been completely unrepentant.
We see fewer than 6% of rapists convicted of their crimes, and even in the result of a conviction, survivors and victims struggle to be believed. By providing an event that celebrates a convicted rapist, we send the message out that rapists are role models; a harmful message for both survivors and for young people. 
The idea of giving a convicted rapist a “hero’s welcome” is both deeply offensive and damaging.
You can also contact the venue directly

Ocean Rooms
Pier Gardens
Gorleston, Norfolk
NR31 6PP
Phone: 01493 667890
http://www.oceanroom.co.uk

UPDATE: 

Kim Graham has added this to the text of the petition: 
I had the “pleasure” of speaking to Carl Moore, the organiser of the event earlier this evening. When I asked Moore why he felt having a convicted rapist was a suitable speaker at an event, he tried to tell me that Tyson (who pleaded guilty at his trial) was wrongly convicted, that Tyson had been told he’d walk free were he to plead guilty. 
We already see a situation where most rapists walk free, through being found “not guilty” due to a failing legal system. Sadly, in the rare situations where rapists are convicted of their crimes, where they even plead guilty, we’re still faced with a situation where the survivor of the crime isn’t believed.  
Words, such as Moore’s, are an insult to rape survivors, and a mockery of those who finally see a conviction. This event cannot continue.