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‘Blind Side’ Producers Disclose Payouts to Michael Oher and Tuohys in Pushback Against ‘Mischaracterizations’

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The producers of “The Blind Side” are wading into the controversy ignited by former NFL player Michael Oher’s claims that he was deceived into signing away immense profits from his life story.

The 2009 film “I Beat the Odds” was based on the book “I Beat the Odds” and tells the story of Oher’s rise from growing up in poverty to becoming an All-American offensive tackle at Ole Miss and a first-round NFL draft selection.

Oher has recently claimed that Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, the couple who took him in as a destitute adolescent, shortchanged him.

Although he asserts he was told he was adopted by the Tuohys, they were actually appointed as his legal guardians. Oher asserts that the arrangement gave the Tuohys money that should have been his.

Oher, according to NBC News, has filed a petition seeking to end the conservatorship and requesting the Tuohys for “a full accounting of the profits they made from ‘The Blind Side.'”

The Tuohys’ attorney, Martin Singer, has accused Oher of attempting to extort the family.

Calling Oher’s allegations “outlandish,” Singer said in a statement that “the idea that the family ever sought to profit off Mr. Oher is not only offensive, it is transparently ridiculous.”

“They have consistently treated him like a son and one of their three children. His response was to threaten them, including saying that he would plant a negative story about them in the press unless they paid him $15 million,” the statement said.

NBC reported that Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove, co-founders and co-CEOs of Alcon Entertainment, which financed “The Blind Side,” released a statement regarding the film and its financial returns in response to the competing allegations.

“We feel it is now important for us to respond to some recent media reports, which include many mischaracterizations and uninformed opinions,” the statement said.

The statement went on to explain the deal for the film rights to Oher’s life story, which it said was “negotiated by Twentieth Century Fox and inherited by Alcon.”

“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 statement said.

Johnson and Kosove said the deal was “consistent with the marketplace at that time for the rights of relatively unknown individuals. Therefore, it did not include significant payouts in the event of the film’s success.”

“As a result, the notion that the Tuohys were paid millions of dollars by Alcon to the detriment of Michael Oher is false.

“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),” the statement said, noting that the Tuohys and Oher will receive more profits as time goes by.

More than $300 million was earned by “The Blind Side” at the box office.

Johnson and Kosove discovered positive qualities on both parties of the current dispute.

They pointed to “the [Tuohys’] wonderful acts of kindness toward Michael Oher” and “the authenticity of the Tuohys loving Michael dearly and raising Michael as their son through the end of high school, and then throughout college and onto the NFL.”

They also cited “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. Michael’s academic accomplishments and athletic achievements demonstrate this.”

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