Entertainment And News

Restaurant Workers Share Their Encounters With 'The Blind Side' Tuohy Family Amid The Michael Oher Controversy — 'They're Truly Terrible People'

Photo: Jeffrey Beall / Tulane Public Relations / Wiki Commons
Michael Oher with Colins Tuohy

By now, you’ve no doubt heard the story of Michael Oher and the Tuohy family. What started out as a feel-good story of giving and overcoming turned into what now seems like a case of an opportunistic family taking advantage of a young man in dire need.

The 2009 movie, "The Blind Side," detailed the story of Oher, a homeless teen who, at the age of 18, was “adopted” by Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy. He went on to become an offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens, and the Tuohys, specifically Leigh Anne, became a well-known adoption and fostering advocate.

She claimed to love Oher as if he were her own child, but recently, he has launched a lawsuit claiming there was never a legal adoption, but instead a scheme to push him into a conservatorship where he relinquished his legal rights, and the Tuohys made millions off of him.

RELATED: Angry Fans Of 'The Blind Side' Movie Slam Sandra Bullock & Demand That She Give Her Oscar Back — But She Is Not The One To Blame

Workers on Reddit were quick to share their own encounters with the Tuohys and agree that they are ‘terrible people’.

For many, the story of the Tuohys taking in a wayward Black boy was heartwarming, but for some, including myself, the story was one that made me lift an eyebrow.

The age-old tale of a "white savior" rushing into rescue a Black child in need has often ended unfavorably and is frequently met with much skepticism from the Black community. Still, there were many people that had some insight into who Oher is alleging the Tuohys really are long ago.

RELATED: Mom's Story About Jason Aldean Meeting Her Daughter With Spina Bifida Reveals The Country Singer's True Nature

In the subreddit, r/Memphis, people chimed in with their experiences involving the Tuohy family.

In the post, entitled “'Blind Side' subject & former Briarcrest standout Michael Oher alleges adoption was lie,” Redditors posted first that Oher had found out in February 2023 that he actually had no familial relationship with the Tuohys and that their involvement with him was most likely a money grab.

Then, the comments about unfavorable encounters with the family began to pour in.

One person said, “That lady used to come in J. Alexanders and be such a b---h to us [the people who worked there]. She thought she was God or some s--t.” Someone added that they, too, had once been in the room with her and that “stuck up” was a very accurate description of Leigh Anne.

To illustrate the point, another allegation is that she almost had a caterer fired from an event for not knowing who she was. But that's not all.

One man shared that his wife was asked to write a speech for Leigh Anne Tuohy as part of a speaking engagement. Surprisingly, his partner received no input from Mrs. Tuohy and was expected to just know what to say.

He labled the situation "entitled" and "embarassing" and suggested that movies should not be made using just one person's input. That led another poster to share that she had also been rude to graduates at the height of "The Blind Side's" success. 

"I worked at a fine dining establishment in East Memphis and came here to say the same. Out of a lot of rich, entitled, stuck up nightmare regulars we had, she was easily one of the worst," someone else added of the Leigh Anne. Others agreed and one person even stated that the family took being entitled to the next level. 

RELATED: Veteran Publicist Breaks Down The Tuohy's Press Statement About Michael Oher & How It Sounds Exactly Like Lizzo's

But it wasn’t just the matriarch of the family that people took issue with.

The Tuohy family's son, Sean, was not exempt from the criticism. People said he was “the worst,” with one person claiming, “I have friends that went to school with him... They confirmed when the movie came out that he was a major a--hole/d-bag and no one truly liked him.”

And the Tuohy's daughter, Collins, was apparently no stranger to treating workers poorly either. She and her mother were accused of being a nightmare to serve as well, labeled "terrible people" several times.

There were not a lot of encounters about the family's patriarch listed, but readers seemed to agree that he was generally a nice person, unless he was accompanied by his wife, in which case, he seemed to be much more "buttoned up."

Whether you believe the allegations or not, it’s hard to imagine that all of these people are making up their experiences with the Tuohys. These stories make it much easier to believe that the family saw Michael Oher as an opportunity, and not a member of their tribe.

It’s not a far stretch to think they set the wheels in motion to exploit Oher and profit off of their do-gooder story at the young man’s expense.

RELATED: Michael Oher's Accusations Against The Tuohy Family & 'The Blind Side' Prove That Hollywood Should Let Black People Tell Their Own Stories

NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington. She covers lifestyle, relationships, and human-interest stories that readers can relate to and that bring social issues to the forefront for discussion.