Family Of Melvin B. Tolson Wants Oprah To Pay For Exploiting Grand Dad’s Character
According to The Hollywood Reporter sources, the family of the man depicted in “The Great Debaters” is unhappy with Oprah’s production studio of exploiting their family member for Hollywood cash– and not cutting them in. They want to get paid for the company making money off of their last name. The Tolson family says they were “not compensated in any monetary way for the defendants’ commercial use of Mr. Tolson’s name, distinctive attributes and unique life experiences.”
The film produced by the studio, depicts the life of a professor at historically black Wiley College who in the 1930s, amidst segregation, led the school’s debate team to a national championship. In a complaint filed by the family of Melvin B. Tolson, when the film was being made Tolson’s son offered Oprah’s producers assistance in the form of recordings of their father for the purpose of Denzel Washington, who played the character, to study. Later, the family was invited and did attend the film’s premiere. Harpo employees allegedly told the family, “We are going to take care of you.”
Well, the family is now ready for that pay out, they’ve been waiting since 2007 when the film was made. YOu can take a look at the complaint filed against Oprah’s people here.