Mike Tyson has finally responded to the controversy surrounding his upcoming guest star appearance on “Law & Order: SVU” and hopes viewers will give him a chance.
The stunt casting of the former boxing champ and convicted rapist on a TV series about sex crimes and abuse victims has outraged thousands of people. It even sparked a Change.org petition signed by more than 6,000 protestors asking to have Tyson dropped from the show, where he’s set to play Reggie Rhodes, a murderer on death row who is also the victim of a difficult childhood, in an episode schedule to air Feb. 13.
“I’m sorry that she has a difference of opinion, but she’s entitled to it,” Tyson says of the petition’s author, Marcie Kaveney, to TV Guide magazine. “I’m sorry that she’s not happy. [But] I didn’t rape nobody or do anything like that, and this lady wasn’t there to know if I did or not. I don’t trip on that stuff. I’m not trying to get rich and famous; I’m just trying to feed my family. Why should they care? Since I’m clean and sober five years, I haven’t broken any laws or did any crimes. I’m just trying to live my life.”
Marcie Kaveney, a rape survivor and rape crisis advocate, is leading the charge against Tyson’s turn on “SVU.” “A lot of survivors consider ‘SVU’ to be Their Show, because it’s about victims, about helping victims and getting justice for victims,” she said. “We’ve taken to the show and consider it ours.”
Tyson, 46, has been actively trying to remake his image in recent years, both professionally and personally, working to rebuild his relationships with his family and children, and he believes he deserves a second chance.
“When people say, ‘He shouldn’t do this,’ that upsets me because it hurts people close to me,” Tyson told TV Guide. “I’m happy with myself. I’m not on drugs. I’m not drinking. I’m not making a big fool of myself again. I’m trying really hard, you know?”
Click here to use xfinity.com/tv to DVR “Law & Order: SVU”