More than fourteen years have passed since the release of the sports drama film “The Blind Side,” which took inspiration from the life of Michael Oher. However, Oher has recently taken legal action against the Tuohy family, the central characters of the movie, asserting that they profited off his life and that the film misrepresents his experiences.
In 2009, “The Blind Side” hit the big screen, narrating the journey of Michael Oher from homelessness to NFL success. The film is based on a book of the same name and stars Quinton Aaron as Oher, with Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw portraying Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy, the couple who became his adoptive parents.
While the movie aims to deliver a heartwarming story, Oher’s lawsuit exposes deep-rooted issues within its narrative. Oher claims that the adoption depicted in the film never took place. He alleges that the Tuohy family “tricked him” into signing a document that designated them as his conservators, granting them the legal authority to manage business deals in his name. Oher argues that this move allowed the Tuohys to exploit his athletic talent for their own gain.
Sean Tuohy has countered these claims, stating that Oher was consulted about the decision and that his biological mother was present during the court hearing where the conservatorship was discussed.
Oher’s lawsuit, spanning fourteen pages and filed in Shelby County, Tennessee, asserts that the Tuohys viewed him as a “gullible young man” whose athletic potential could be capitalized upon. This lawsuit reflects his ongoing discontent with the film’s portrayal of him. In his 2011 memoir titled “I Beat the Odds,” Oher expressed that the movie depicted him as unintelligent rather than as a young individual who lacked consistent academic guidance but thrived once he received it.
One particular scene in the movie has drawn attention for its inaccuracy. “The Blind Side” shows Oher being taught to play American football using ketchup bottles by his adoptive brother. This depiction contrasts with Oher’s reality and his hard work and dedication to his craft. During an appearance on The Jim Rome Show, Oher conveyed his frustration with how the movie diminished his effort, stating that it “took away the hard work and dedication” he exhibited as a child. He mentioned his early commitment to his pursuits, being the “first one in the locker room” and the “last one out.”
The film also inaccurately portrays Oher’s educational capabilities, suggesting that he struggled with reading and writing. In response to this misrepresentation, Oher highlighted his accomplishments, recalling performing in school plays and demonstrating his abilities. He revealed that being portrayed as unable to learn a playbook in the locker room by his teammates had a significant impact on him.
Sean Tuohy addressed the allegations by stating that the family is willing to honor Oher’s wishes, even if it means ending their conservatorship over him. He expressed their devastation at the thought of making money from their children and affirmed their continued love and support for Oher.
As the lawsuit and personal reflections continue to shed light on discrepancies within “The Blind Side,” the ongoing debate about the movie’s accuracy and portrayal of Oher’s life intensifies.