Oscar-winning sports movie with controversial history climbs Netflix charts

Jessica Cullen
Sandra Bullock as Leigh Anne Tuohy in The Blind Side

An Oscar-winning Sandra Bullock movie has just made its way onto the Netflix Top 10 chart, and there’s a bizarre history surrounding the true story behind it.

When it comes to the most beloved sports movies, they’re usually based on real figures more often than not. The Blind Side is no exception, billed as being based on an “extraordinary true story” when it was released in 2009.

The film was a smash hit when it came out, grossing $309 million and earning two Oscar nominations, including a Best Actress win for Sandra Bullock. Now, the drama movie is climbing up the Netflix charts in the US, currently sitting at number nine on the Top 10 list at the time of writing.

The movie is a success, both in real-life and on streaming services. But one problematic blip for The Blind Side is the lawsuit that came years after its release from its real-life subject.

The Blind Side tells the story of Michael Oher, a talented and Super Bowl-winning football player in the NFL. As the movie goes, he was a down-on-his-luck and impoverished young man who was plucked from the street and adopted by the wealthy Tuohy family.

On paper, it’s a standard underdog story. However, in August 2023, the real-life Oher filed a lawsuit against the Tuohy family, claiming that they’d never adopted him. His claim also alleged that the family had placed him under a conservatorship, allowing them to make millions of dollars in royalties from the movie.

Oher filed the lawsuit with an aim to end the conservatorship and allow him to claim his fair share of the profits, as well as punitive damages.

The Tuohy’s lawyer released a statement on behalf of the family, saying Oher’s accusations were “ludicrous”, and alleging that he had threatened “to plant a negative story about them in the press unless they paid him $15 million.”

As for the movie itself, Oher was vocal about his feelings that The Blind Side misrepresented him. As he told Jim Rome in 2023: “The biggest for me was being portrayed as not being able to read or write. When you go into a locker room and your teammates don’t think you can learn a playbook, that weighs heavy.”

On September 29, 2023, a judge terminated Oher’s conservatorship.

The lawsuit is certainly a stain on the The Blind Side’s legacy, and raises the question of authenticity in movies billed as “true stories.” To check out the film for yourself and see how Oher’s story was initially portrayed, head over to Netflix now.

For more, check out all the other new movies available on streaming. You can also take a look at our Blue Lock: The Movie review, and learn more about the Von Erich deaths portrayed in The Iron Claw.

Sign up to Dexerto for free and receive:
Fewer Ads|Dark Mode|Deals in Gaming, TV and Movies, and Tech