Former NFL offensive lineman primarily of the Baltimore Ravens, Michael Oher, was notably the inspiration behind the popular novel turned blockbuster film “The Blind Side.” The film and novel detail Oher’s backstory of homelessness as a teenager, to his journey into professional football. “The Blind Side”, released in 2009, starred Quinton Aaron as Oher, Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw as Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy, Kathy Bates, as Miss Sue, and more, is now coming into question for its accuracy. The film went on to snag several Oscars nominations, earning $300 million in the process.
Oher recently petitioned a Tennessee court to escape a conservatorship he was allegedly placed under by the Tuohys. The former NFL star claims that the family never legally adopted him, and instead placed him under a conservatorship so that they could continuously exploit his backstory for their own profit. This legal loophole allowed for the family to make business decisions on Oher’s behalf without his consent.
Oher additionally claims that the couple lied to him and tricked him into signing the document. ESPN was first to report the details of the court filings.
Knowledge of conservatorships expanded to the public during the public fallout of a different famous one–Britney Spears. Spears was notably placed under her conservatorship in 2008 following a mental health crisis. The legal guardianship format was initially designed for the elderly, and has come to be abused by several powerful individuals.
After Spears’ conservatorship ended in 2021, the public eye turned to similar arrangements. Amid the news of Oher’s conservatorship, fans of the NFL player’s career and the film based on his life are criticizing the Tuohy family for their alleged legal manipulation.
Oh this is SICK
— ladidai 📣 go to @heyhearusout (@ladidaix) August 14, 2023
Others were disappointed, though not surprised by the news. Some viewers of “The Blind Side” felt that the film presented a white savior point of view.
Just finished the article, seems this family came into his life *after* Michael was already budding as a star athlete and that they eventually presented conservator paperwork to him when he was freshly out of high school, explaining it as basically an adoption for people his age.…
— Khaleesi ✨ (@TheDejaKing) August 14, 2023
Allegedly, the family continues to receive royalty checks associated with “The Blind Side”, but Oher does not.
They were never good people. Even the movie showed them to be horrible people with a white savior complex. The first line of the movie was about how much money a football player makes
— Kev (@KevinLonvs) August 14, 2023
Elsewhere, others accused the retired NFL star of using the case as a cash grab.
Money grab. His career is over.
— frojo (@frankjrojas1) August 14, 2023
Many wished him good luck in winning his case.
Right!!!! He was the center of the movie! And he is doing a money grab.. gtfo sht is twisted af that he isn’t receiving a dime and they are. I hope he wins a ton of money!!
— Jenn (@Jennife60137022) August 14, 2023
Some reminded critics of the film and of the real life Tuohys to not criticize their onscreen counterparts. Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw, who bought a fictionalized version of the family to the big screen, had nothing to do with the conservatorship or royalties debacle associated with Oher.
the blind side has always been an awful movie. but like, sandra bullock, an actor who portrayed a character that was written and directed by other people, has absolutely nothing to do with what's happening with michael oher
— Candice Frederick (@ReelTalker) August 14, 2023
Many reminded critics that Oher maintained a successful NFL career and retired comfortably. Oher married his wife in 2022 after 17 years together. The couple share four children together.
On a happier note, Michael Oher has a beautiful family of his own now. pic.twitter.com/ZK4nTVWhk3
— Again, for Taquita! (@CoriAgain2) August 14, 2023
Many hope for a sequel to “The Blind Side” or an independent follow up that would allow Oher to regain control of his own story, and make some royalties money in the process.
No but he needs a lifetime movie deal about this situation now @lifetimetv let’s make it happen to recoup this man’s money and at the same time your viewing audience will tune in. His story stole Americas hearts.
— sir finnest (@SirFinnest) August 14, 2023
Many continue to question the film’s moral integrity, given that Oher spoke out on several inaccuracies years later that he alleges production never asked him about.
When Michael Oher had to come out years ago and say that he had in fact had a bed before when the film made it seem like he’s never even seen one 😭😭 like oh everyone involved is going to hell even the dog!!
— I Could’ve Just Sat On In With Massa (@WrittenByHanna) August 14, 2023
A trial date is to be announced.