Plenty of movies are “based on a true story”, which can sometimes increase their ability to elicit strong emotional reactions from fans. 2009’s The Blind Side was one of those projects, and earned Sandra Bullock her very first Academy Award in the process. But the real-life subjects of the movie have been involved in some controversies lately, with Michael Oher claiming he was never actually adopted by the Tuoy family, and filing a lawsuit against them. While they’ve been having a legal battle, Oher’s foster brothers are now opening up and calling the movie inaccurate.
Back in August, Michael Oher’s claims about his time with the Tuoys went viral, with some corners of the internet even calling for Sandra Bullock to give back her Oscar. Now there’s been another update to the ongoing story, and a new documentary titled Blindsided came out about his life, courtesy of CNN. Oher’s foster brothers Nate and Quwanda Hale refuted aspects of the Blind Side movie, claiming that they lived with a stable and loving foster mother and that the depiction of Oher’s history was false.
In The Blind Side, the character Michael says he’s never had a bed of his own, and is shown staying on a friend’s couch before moving in with the Tuoys. But the Hales were quoted (Via People), saying:
According to Nate and Quwanda Hale, giving each foster child their own space was mandatory within the system at the time. They also claimed that they were “blessed” with the foster mother that they shared with Oher.
Another person featured in the new documentary who knew Oher is Quinterio Franklin, who was his friend at Briarcrest High School. He revealed that he walked out of his screening of The Blind Side, and took particular umbrage with the depiction that Oher couldn’t read and write. Franklin said:
The legal dispute between Oher and the Tuoy family has been playing out, with the judge terminating Oher’s conservatorship. Recently the Tuoys removed mention of Oher on their official websites and public speaking advertisement materials.
And as things progressed in the courts, the public and Blindside actors discussed whether this controversy tarnished the acclaimed film. In fact, the chatter got loud enough that the studio even released a statement about The Blind Side. And this new documentary will no doubt keep the public’s attention Oher and his story.
Blindsided was a CNN FlashDoc, and smart money says more eyes will be on it in the coming days. The Blind Side is available to stream on Tubi, and rent/purchase. Be sure to check out the 2024 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.