A Further Perspective

Hollywood’s Other Blind Side

An abiding belief in white Republican sin.

By 3.15.10

Hooray for Hollywood. Not only did a story of American military heroes win the Academy Award for Best Picture (The Hurt Locker) but Best Actress was awarded for the portrayal of a conservative Mom from Ole Miss!

Author and screenwriter Roger Simon asks if 2010 marks the end of Liberal Hollywood. Hope so -- but there's a long way to go. For example, take Sandra Bullock and Leigh Anne Tuohy. Leigh Anne is the real life heroine of The Blind Side, a true story about the adoption and nurturing of a homeless black teen by an established family in Memphis, Tennessee. Leigh Anne is the mother who makes it all happen and Sandra captured her character perfectly. Not to let it go at that, the actress seems fond of saying that Leigh Anne "scared" her. "Leigh Anne scared me from the minute she opened the door. I was sitting in a chair in her house with my little hands folded in my lap. I couldn't say anything." And just what frightened Sandra? Well, the Tuohys live "lives that we normally would never come in contact with." Sandra worried about "how people use their faith in their religion as a banner and then they don't do the right thing. It scared me because I've had experiences that haven't been great. I don't buy a lot of people who use that as their shield. …But now I have faith in those who say they represent a faith….I finally met people who walk the walk." Keep in mind that a best-selling book had already told the story of Leigh Anne, her family and her adopted son and that this book spawned the movie and that Sandra had surely heard the story. Yet she still worried that she was about to run into some kind of phony -- or maybe Tammy Bakker?

Alas, Sandra was not alone. The sins of the Tuohy family were prominently featured in every movie review. Consider:

Sandra Bullock plays Leigh Anne Tuohy, a rich, white, loud-mouthed Christian Republican…couture conservative of the South living in a privileged world…a conservative Christian Republican…gun-toting Republican Christian whirlwind of philanthropic good…rich, white Ole Miss ex-cheerleader…tough Southern cookie…rich, white fairy god-parents…mama-tiger ferocity in designer duds…[her children attend] a tony private school…[and they have a] $10,000 couch…[and they are] openly and proudly Republican.

Got that? These people are White! And Rich! And Southern! And Christian! And not just Republican but openly and proudly Republican! Have they no shame?

Well, despite the Tuohy's grievous shortcomings, Sandra seems to like the rich, white, Christian Republicans just fine and audiences loved the movie. And even though Tinsel Town's establishment may not be on the verge of a conversion, we'll take what we can get. So Hooray for Hollywood. It's a start.

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About the Author

Manon McKinnon is a writer living in Falls Church, Virginia.