MSNBC Claims Racism Explains Why 'The Blind Side' Was Successful

August 18th, 2023 12:45 PM

The conflict surrounding the Tuohy family and former NFL star Michael Oher has been dominating the news cycle over the past several days, reaching a climax where the Tuohys announced they intend to end their conservatorship over Oher.

The whole situation is saddening, considering that the dynamic between these people was a heartwarming story that was depicted in the 2009 film “The Blind Side.” Because of these real-life developments, the progressive media has attacked not just the real-life people, but those who helped make the movie, as well as the film itself.

MSNBC published an op-ed in which they criticized the film for pushing a “white savior” narrative where a white family (the Tuohys) helps save a young black man (Oher) from a life of poverty. The movie has been criticized for being an inaccurate portrayal of what really happened, but what more would you expect from Hollywood? Nevertheless, MSNBC claimed the film reached great success only because of some hidden racial bias from the white people in the audience who enjoyed it:

…the white public craves feel-good stories that portray them as heroes more than accurate stories that portray Black people as complete and complex human beings.

“The Blind Side,” where a relatively small white woman, played by Sandra Bullock (who won an Oscar for her role), develops a relationship with a large Black teenager who had experienced homelessness is a twisted version of “Beauty and the Beast.” It excites a white imagination that longs for contact with the Black other and simultaneously fears that contact. Similar to what Joseph Conrad did in his 19th-century novel “The Heart of Darkness,” the Black person is considered dangerous or irreparably damaged until a white person sees their humanity.

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That’s not the conclusion you have to draw from a movie being successful. Say what you want about the accuracy of the film, it’s still a heartwarming, feel-good story that would appeal to a variety of audiences: a story about a young man living a rough life who is given a second chance and ends up being a very successful athlete. 

Racism doesn’t have to explain why it was such a big hit, and the fact MSNBC thinks that it does is shallow and disappointing.