The Blind Side and Hollywood’s blind spot

    en-gbSeptember 25, 2023

    Podcast Summary

    • The authenticity of 'The Blind Side' is under scrutinyThe film's portrayal of Michael Oher's life has been called into question, raising concerns about its accuracy despite initial success and critical acclaim.

      The success story of the film "The Blind Side," which was a box office hit 14 years ago and starred Sandra Bullock, is under scrutiny as a potential fabrication. Michael Oher, the former NFL player at the heart of the film, has filed a lawsuit alleging that the story was based on lies. Despite its initial success and critical acclaim, the film's portrayal of Oher has been called into question, raising concerns about the authenticity of the film's narrative. This is a reminder that even popular and successful stories can have questionable origins, and it's essential to consider the accuracy of the information we consume. Meanwhile, Mint Mobile continues to offer an affordable wireless plan for just $15 a month, providing a welcome relief during inflation.

    • Michael Orr's complexities not fully captured in 'The Blind Side'Despite the film's success, Michael Orr's true character was more complex than portrayed, with a measured, bright, and witty demeanor trying to prove value to his football team.

      Michael Orr's life story, as portrayed in the film "The Blind Side," while based on true events, did not fully capture the complexities of the real person. Michael, who came from a disadvantaged background, was met by Leanne Touhy, who took him in and helped him fulfill his football potential. However, during an interview, it was clear that Michael was uncomfortable with how he was portrayed in the book and the upcoming film. He was a measured, bright, and witty individual who tried to fit in and prove his value to the team. Despite the film's success, it's unclear what specifically drew Leanne to Michael that night, but their connection was instant, and he became a cherished member of her family. The film, while highlighting Michael's disadvantaged background and football potential, may not have fully captured the nuances of Michael's character.

    • The Tuohy family's adoption of Michael OherThe Tuohy family adopted Michael Oher, a black kid from poverty, and helped him achieve a successful NFL career despite initial misunderstandings about the arrangement

      The Tuohy family, prominent in Memphis and University of Mississippi, adopted Michael Oher, a black kid with a large build, despite concerns. Michael went on to have a successful NFL career with the Baltimore Ravens, playing 8 seasons and winning a Super Bowl. However, years later, Michael revealed that the arrangement was a conservatorship, which he initially misunderstood as another form of adoption. Despite this revelation, the Tuohy family's adoption of Michael and his subsequent success story remains an inspiring tale of overcoming adversity and achieving the impossible.

    • The Tuohy's public description vs legal reality of their relationship with Michael OherDespite being portrayed as an adoption, Michael Oher's relationship with the Tuohy family is actually a conservatorship, giving them control over his financial and personal decisions.

      The relationship between Michael Oher and the Tuohy family, as portrayed publicly, is not the same as the legal arrangements between them. While the Tuohy's have described their relationship as an adoption and Michael as their son, the reality is that Michael is under a conservatorship, giving the Tuohy's control over his financial and personal decisions. This is different from an adoption, where the law recognizes the adopted child as a dependent and a part of the family. Michael, who is now 37 years old, has recently questioned this arrangement and even filed a lawsuit alleging that he was misled into signing conservatorship papers instead of adoption papers when he was 18. The public perception of their relationship and the legal reality are two different things.

    • Michael Oher's Legal Petition to End Conservatorship and Seek CompensationFormer NFL player Michael Oher filed a petition to end his conservatorship, alleging exploitation by the Touhys, who raised him and made millions from 'The Blind Side' movie without sharing profits or signing away his life rights.

      Michael Oher, a former NFL player and subject of the inspiring film "The Blind Side," has filed a legal petition to end his conservatorship and request compensation for the use of his name and likeness. He alleges that the Touhys, who raised him and are portrayed as his adoptive parents in the film, exploited him by making millions from the movie without sharing profits and signing away his life rights. Michael claims that he was tricked into making the Touhys his conservators and that they have refused to distribute his share of the profits. The Touhys have denied these allegations and stated that they have tried to distribute Michael's share to him. This situation highlights the complexities of conservatorships and the potential for exploitation, especially when it involves public figures and their personal stories.

    • The Tuohy family's legal dispute with Michael OherThe Tuohy family is currently involved in a legal dispute with Michael Oher, who they had taken in and adopted, over allegations of financial manipulation. Despite denying wrongdoing, they plan to dissolve the conservatorship. Michael's intelligence and their handling of his finances remain contentious issues.

      The Tuohy family, who gained fame through the Oscar-winning film "The Blind Side," are currently embroiled in a legal dispute with Michael Oher, whom they had taken in and adopted years ago. The family denies any wrongdoing and calls the lawsuit a shakedown, while Michael alleges that they tricked him into making them his conservators for financial gain. Despite their denials, the family acknowledges that Michael is indeed in a conservatorship, and they have agreed to dissolve it. However, it remains unclear whether they will make any restitution or attempt to mend their relationship with Michael. The controversy surrounding the case has brought renewed attention to Michael's life and the perception of his intelligence, which has long been a subject of debate.

    • The movie 'The Blind Side' oversimplified Michael Oher's storyThe movie 'The Blind Side' oversimplified Michael Oher's background and accomplishments, perpetuating stereotypes and overshadowing his hard work and dedication before meeting the Tuohy family.

      The narrative of the movie "The Blind Side" and the public perception of Michael Oher's story have overshadowed the reality of his athletic prowess and hard work before he met the Tuohy family. The movie's portrayal of Oher as a struggling student in need of tutoring and football coaching was a well-worn trope that appealed to a wide audience, especially the white savior narrative. However, Oher's background of homelessness and time in foster care from a young age is not the complete story. The movie missed the opportunity to show the hard work and dedication he put in before meeting the Tuohy family. Despite his achievements in football, some evaluators in the NFL still doubt his ability to master complex schemes due to this outdated perception. It's essential to recognize the reality of individuals' stories and accomplishments, rather than relying on stereotypes and simplified narratives.

    • The Blind Side: A Controversial Tale of Race and FootballThe film 'The Blind Side' continues to spark controversy and polarized opinions due to its depiction of race relations, with some seeing it as perpetuating stereotypes and others as a heartwarming tale.

      The film "The Blind Side" released several years ago, which tells the true story of a white family adopting a black football player, continues to spark controversy and polarized opinions today due to its depiction of race relations. Andrew Lawrence, a senior features writer with The Guardian, shared his perspective that if the film were made again today, it would likely elicit even more vocal opposition and debate than it did initially. Some would view it as perpetuating stereotypes, while others would see it as a heartwarming tale. Regardless, there would be strong reactions, as there were when the book and film first came out. This conversation underscores the ongoing issue of discrimination and its complexities in American society and beyond.

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