The Blind Side star Quinton Aaron has come to the defence of Sandra Bullock after people started calling for her Oscar for her role in the movie to be revoked after the news of a lawsuit.
It comes after Michael Oher, a former NFL player, said in a lawsuit that the Tuohy family profited millions off of his name and that the adoption narrative in the film The Blind Side was a lie.
Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, a couple who welcomed 18-year-old Oher into their house as a high school student, are accused of never truly adopting him, according to a petition submitted in probate court in Shelby County, Tennessee.
Instead, the athlete’s attorneys claim that in 2004, just months after Oher’s 18th birthday, they persuaded him to sign a paper designating them as his conservators and granting them the authority to do business on behalf of the athlete.
According to court documents, the couple took use of their authority as conservators to sign the rights for the Oscar-winning film The Blind Side, about Oher’s life, which featured Bullock as Leigh Anne, brought in more than $300 million. However, the money only benefitted the Tuohys and their 2 biological children, who allegedly received $225,000, plus 2.5% per cent of the “net proceeds.”
ESPN said that Oher alleges he was not paid for the movie “that would not have existed without him” and that the family has continued to refer to him as their adopted son solely for personal gains.
Following the news of Oher’s lawsuit, people have begun to call for Bullock to be stripped from her Oscar, despite there being no evidence that she knew anything about what might have been going on with the family behind the scenes.
“So Sandra Bullock should have to give back her Oscar right, and man do we need to start checking these good feeling stories,” one person wrote.
A second said: “If the Michael Oher allegations are true then we have to go AND TAKE THE OSCAR back from Sandra Bullock and give it to Gabourey Sidibe for Precious.”
However, not everyone agreed, with some coming to Bullock’s defence: “Not y’all calling for Sandra Bullock’s Oscar to be revoked. It ain’t her fault the real life people were exploitative scammers and thieves.”
The noise of the debate got so loud that even Quinton Aaron, who played Oher in the movie, spoke out against the backlash.
“We are living in a day and age where people are hell bent on pointing the blame on people and are just throwing things out there that’s wrong,” he told the New York Post. “It’s like saying, ‘Let’s throw this person to the wolves.’”
“Sandra did nothing wrong. That’s my girl and she is going through a really tough time right now,” he continued. “I really feel like they should leave her alone and stop trying to come at her.”
The court documents from the case read: “The lie of Michael’s adoption is one upon which Co-Conservators Leigh Anne Tuohy and Sean Tuohy have enriched themselves at the expense of their Ward, the undersigned Michael Oher.
“Michael Oher discovered this lie to his chagrin and embarrassment in February of 2023, when he learned that the Conservatorship to which he consented on the basis that doing so would make him a member of the Tuohy family, in fact provided him no familial relationship with the Tuohys.”
Oher has requested that the conservatorship be terminated and that they refrain from utilising his name. He also demands to be given a just portion of the earnings and a comprehensive accounting of the money the family earned while exploiting his name. Additionally, he is requesting compensatory damages.
The petition stated: “Since at least August of 2004, Conservators have allowed Michael, specifically, and the public, generally, to believe that Conservators adopted Michael and have used that untruth to gain financial advantages for themselves and the foundations which they own or which they exercise control.
“All monies made in said manner should in all conscience and equity be disgorged and paid over to the said ward, Michael Oher.”