In the 2009 film “The Blind Side,” there’s a pivotal scene where Leigh Anne Tuohy, played by Sandra Bullock, gives a pep talk to struggling high school football player Michael Oher. This moment is intended to be inspiring, but it has become the center of controversy in recent years.
In the movie, Tuohy takes Oher under her wing after seeing him walking alone on a cold night in Memphis. She uses an earlier incident where Oher protected her from drug dealers as motivation for him to protect his quarterback on the field. This advice leads to a montage showcasing Oher’s impressive physical abilities and earns him praise from his teammates and coach.
However, real-life events have cast this narrative into question. Michael Oher is currently suing Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy for allegedly exaggerating their relationship details and misleading him into signing away his life story for their gain.
The Tuohys’ lawyers have responded by stating that they will agree to end a conservatorship that began when Oher was 18 years old. They also stressed that it had always been clear that they did not adopt Oher.
Michael Lewis, author of “The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game,” which inspired the movie, expressed sadness over these developments. He denied any significant financial gain from the film rights sold for $250k – he kept $70k while giving another $70k split among family members including Oher.
“The Blind Side” has been criticized for perpetuating stereotypes about Black athletes needing white saviors like Leigh Anne Tuohy to succeed. The film grossed over $300 million at box offices worldwide and remains one of the most popular sports movies ever made despite these criticisms.
Oher himself has stated that his portrayal in “The Blind Side” negatively impacted how NFL teams perceived him during draft season in 2009 – something he discusses further in his new memoir titled “When Your Back’s Against The Wall.”
It’s been two decades since real-life events depicted in “The Blind Side” took place at Briarcrest Christian School before being taken under wing by the Tuohys’. Since then much has changed; not only did Michael earn nearly $35 million playing NFL football but also won Super Bowl ring along with fathering four children.
This revisiting of ‘Blind side’ story comes amidst changing perceptions about racial dynamics within sports world today compared with twenty years ago when original events unfolded.