Mike Tyson’s 1991-1992 rape case is explored from Desiree Washington’s perspective.


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Mike Tyson’s 1991-1992 rape case is explored from Desiree Washington’s perspective.

Aired (Hulu) 9/8/2022
Director(s) Tiffany Johnson
Writer(s) Karin Gist, Samantha Corbin-Miller
Introduced This Episode
Desiree Li Eubanks

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Summary

In July 1991, Mike Tyson met Desiree Washington, and he raped her. She, an 18-year-old girl, barely out of high school, participating in the Miss Black America pageant, met with Mike Tyson past 1:00 AM, thinking they would go to a party, and instead, he created the worst day of her life. Which rather than let go, she took to trial and won.

However, she faced hardship like anyone who takes their rapist to trial. She was pushed to recant by unknown Black people. There was a desire to push the idea she was the next Robin Givens and wanted to be a gold digger. There were questions about why no one heard her if she was being raped, and various other ways in an attempt to discredit her.

But, she got justice, and Mike, pissed as expected, got sent to prison.

Things To Note

Content Notes

  • Dialog: Vulgarity and death threats
  • Violence: The show doesn’t get explicit with the sexual violence, but makes it clear something happened
  • Sexual Content: Nudity in the form of Mike’s buttocks being seen momentarily
  • Miscellaneous: Victim blaming galore

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. What did Mike say about the case during his one-man live performance?

What Could Happen Next

  1. Mike going back to jail

Review

Highlights

Not Pulling Any Punches

Mike asking if you love him anymore
“Mike asking if you love him anymore,” Mike, “Desiree,” directed by Tiffany Johnson, 2022, (Hulu)

There is absolutely no spin here regarding Mike Tyson’s actions. Everything is from Desiree’s point of view, and as we’ve seen many times, this show will give grace to people when they deserve it. But when they have shown themselves to be manipulative, monstrous, and without remorse, they will be shown as they wanted to be. So as much as Mike has been allowed to be three-dimensional because of his trauma, no excuses are made here.

We’re reminded that Desiree was 18, barely of legal age, and while there is every adjective imaginable to push how innocent she was, and at the end of the day, it is made clear she didn’t want Mike Tyson ins a sexual way and probably didn’t want him in a romantic way either. She was just someone far from home who had the opportunity to hang out with a celebrity everyone in her family loved. Which Eubanks played out beautifully.

[ninja_tables id=”69554″]

"Desiree (Li Eubanks) noting that today is the worst day of her life
Mike: Season 1/ Episode 5 “Desiree” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
Overall
It isn't often when focusing on a public figure in this way, there is an entire episode dedicated to damning who they are and what they did. But it shows that "Mike" isn't trying to placate or give out grace to everyone, even when they aren't deserving. It wants to truly give the undisputed truth, no matter how hard it might be to stomach.
Highlights
Not Pulling Any Punches
Disputable
82

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