Nearly 15 years after The Blind Side earned Sandra Bullock her first Oscar, along with being a Best Picture contender, its subjects, Michael Oher and the Touhy family, entered into a public disagreement earlier this year. In August, the NFL football player claimed he was never adopted and exploited by the couple who took him in, and filed a legal filing detailing his allegations. The latest development in the conflict has Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy removing Oher references from their marketing materials.
In a Wednesday hearing, which Michael Oher was in attendance for, the Touhys’ lawyer Randy Fishman announced that references to the NFL footballer’s name is set to now be removed from the couple’s websites and public speaking advertisement materials. Per the Associated Press, the change will be made “immediately.” This comes following Oher asked the judge to ban the Tuohy family from using his name, image and likeness in regards to their business and public image.
Oher took action against the Tuohy family on August 14, 2023, sharing that he believes they made millions off a lie that he became their adopted son by using his name, image and likeness for their financial benefit. Following the widespread success of The Blind Side book and movie adaptation, he alleged that the couple have not only used the title of being his adopted parents to promote their foundation along with Leigh Anne Tuohy’s work as both an author and motivational speaker, but kept him out of financial dealings related to him and the promotion of his true story.
Leigh Anne Tuohy’s website has and currently references Michael Oher as one of her sons after he claimed that the couple “tricked” him into signing a conservatorship document just months after turning 18 back in 2004, which therein gave them the right to “make business deals in his name.” Since the claims were made, Oher’s conservatorship was terminated. In the state of Tennessee, conservatorships are reserved for people with medical conditions or disabilities, and Oher has neither.
The Tuohys have previously responded to Oher’s claims by sharing they are “devastated” by Oher’s petition. Sean Tuohy, who was played by Tim McGraw in the 2009 movie, said he “didn’t make any money off the movie,” whereas the studio behind The Blind Side, Alcon Entertainment, called the Best Picture nominee “verifiably authentic” and shared just how much both parties made on the 2009 film. Per Alcon, they paid the talent agency representing the Touhy family and Oher $767,000 total.
Since The Blind Side claims were made, Sandra Bullock reportedly has been upset about the developments about the subjects of the film. The actor behind Michael Oher in the 2009 film, Quinton Aaron, on the other hand, shared that he believes the developments doesn’t tarnish the film because he believes it “successfully put out something that has motivated an entire generation of people to do good.”