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‘The Blind Side’ Producers Clarify Family Payments Amid Controversy

‘The Blind Side’ Producers Clarify Family Payments Amid Controversy

Alcon Entertainment, the production company behind the The Blind Side, has come forward to set the record straight following 10 days of criticisms and accusations surrounding the film.

Alcon co-founders Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove released a statement speaking out against what they call “mischaracterizations and uninformed opinions.” The comments come a week and a half after Michael Oher, the central figure of the film, made headlines by alleging that the Tuohy family, the film’s subjects, had deceived him about his adoption in order to benefit themselves financially.

“The notion that the Tuohys were paid millions of dollars by Alcon to the detriment of Michael Oher is false,” Johnson and Kosove wrote. “In fact, Alcon has paid approximately $767,000 to the talent agency that represents the Tuohy family and Michael Oher (who, presumably, took commission before passing it through). We anticipate that the Tuohy family and Michael Oher will receive additional profits as audiences continue to enjoy this true story in the years to come.”

The statement also detailed the trajectory of the film’s rights, starting with Michael Lewis’s 2006 book, explaining that the contracts negotiated at the time were different that standard contracts today.

“It is important to note that in 2006, the nature of life rights deals for books, documentaries and film, as well as the limitations of what college athletes were able to do and maintain eligibility, were very different than they are today,” the CEOs explained. “Comparing them to today’s marketplace for those rights is akin to comparing a basketball Hall of Famer’s deal from 25 years ago to the nine-figure deals that are prevalent in today’s NBA. The deal that was made by Fox for the Tuohy’s and Michael Oher’s life rights was consistent with the marketplace at that time for the rights of relatively unknown individuals.”

The statement also addresses criticisms that have risen about an “inaccurate depiction” of Oher’s life. Oher alleges that parts of his story were fabricated in the movie, including his adoption by the Tuohys.

Alcon shared that they believe their film is “verifiably authentic and will never be a lie or fake, regardless of the familial ups and downs that have occurred subsequent to the film.”

In the wake of Oher’s legal actions, the Tuohys have faced massive backlash, and the film itself has been under scrutiny, with some Internet users going so far as to argue that Sandra Bullock should lose her Oscar for her depiction of Leigh Anne Tuohy. However, Alcon Entertainment’s statement defends the film’s core message and its underlying motive.

“In the story of The Blind Side, we saw the better angels of human nature,” Johnson and Kosove’s statement declared passionately. “We saw it in the Tuohy’s wonderful acts of kindness toward Michael Oher. However, more importantly, we saw it in the extraordinary courage that Michael Oher demonstrated in accepting the Tuohys’ generosity not as a handout, or as his saviors, but as a way through which he could improve his own life.”

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