Leave Sandra Bullock alone.
The chances of Bullock returning her Academy Award for her winning role in “The Blind Side” are about as good as former Super Bowl winning offensive tackle Michael Oher coming out of retirement to protect Aaron Rodgers in the pocket.
It’s not happening.
Bullock got trolled on the internet last week for her 2009 movie role as Oher’s adoptive mother in the blockbuster film about a southern white family who takes in a Black foster child and steers him to college football stardom.
But it turns out that Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy never adopted Oher.
Instead, as Oher alleges in a new lawsuit against the family, the Tuohys filed a conservatorship over him that cheated him out of millions of dollars.
The movie became a runaway hit, grossing more than $300 million, according to Oher’s legal petition. It was nominated for best picture at the Academy Awards, and Bullock won the Oscar for best actress for her portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy.
Years earlier, the conservatorship gave the Tuohys “total control over Oher’s ability to negotiate for or enter any contract, despite the fact he was over 18 years of age and had no diagnosed physical or psychological disabilities,” the petition states.
The petition says at no point did the Tuohys tell him they would have “ultimate control of all of his contracts” and Oher “was falsely advised by the Tuohys” that the “adoption” would have to be called a conservatorship since he was over 18.
“The Tuohys have falsely and publicly represented themselves as the adoptive parents of Michael, continuing to the date of the filing of this petition,” the petition states.
The Tuohys, meanwhile, said they weren’t trying to misrepresent anything, and that they used the conservatorship to help Oher enroll in college.
As for “The Blind Side” profits, the Tuohys said they never made a lot of money off the film, and that everyone in their household, including their son, daughter and Oher, received an equal share.
There’s no doubt that the Tuohys deserve some compensation for their generosity. And it seems fair that they receive payment for the movie rights to what is their story, too.
But equal shares? That’s not just unfair.
It’s unsportsmanlike conduct.
That was as bad as the deal singer Gladys Knight got when she started making records with the Pips.
Although she sang lead on every song, and had her name on every marquee and album cover, Knight and the three Pips who backed her up — “Midnight train to Georgia, whoo whoo” — received equal shares.
And what about this conservatorship? Why did it still need to be in place after Oher left school or signed his first professional contract?
It’s no surprise that some liberties were taken with the screenplay, that some adjustments were made for entertainment value.
But Oher said the movie makers went too far, and even wrote his own book to set the record straight.
“‘The Blind Side’ is about how one family helped me reach my fullest potential, but what about the people and experiences that all added up to putting me in their path? As anyone in my family will tell you, they were just part of a complicated series of events and personalities that helped me achieve success,” he wrote. “They were a huge part of it, but it was a journey I’d started a long time before.”
Oher said the Tuohys tricked him. A lawyer for the Tuohys said the petition is a shakedown.
It could be neither.
It could be both.
But one thing is clear. Despite Bullock’s fine performance, the movie was flawed from the coin toss.
“The film is very problematic the way it celebrates this white family, and specifically this white woman, with such negative stereotypes of Black people,” Erica Chito Childs, a professor of sociology at Hunter College and The CUNY Graduate Center, told USA Today.
Bullock, meanwhile is “heartbroken” over the fallout, according to a report. The timing could not have been worse. Bullock’s longtime boyfriend Bryan Randall, 57 died recently after a secret battle with ALS.
Oher was sacked by what Hollywood does best — the white savior.
He’s Gene Hackman as an FBI agent standing up to southern racists in “Mississippi Burning.”
She’s Michelle Pfeiffer teaching poor Black and Hispanic students at an inner-city high school in “Dangerous Minds.”
He’s Sean Connery as a reclusive novelist — think J.D. Salinger — who mentors a Black teen from the Bronx in “Finding Forrester.”
All the movies have the same two things in common — white heroes who can do no wrong, and Black people who need saving.
“The Blind Side” falls into the same category, except for one difference.
Despite the title, we could easily see this one coming.