ByChristopher Douglas, writer at
Strong advocate for ethnic diversity & lover of Cinnabons.
Christopher Douglas

All eyes were certainly on Tupac Shakur this past weekend with the release of his biopic, All Eyez On Me. Although coming in third place behind Cars 3 and Wonder Woman, the film received mixed reviews and has 25 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Fans of 2Pac's music enjoyed the film (myself included), as it personified who he was, not only as a man, but as a Black man in America. It didn't matter what his celebrity status entailed, because at the end of the day, he was still treated like a piece of dirt.

Though the portrayal of Shakur, played by newcomer Demetrius Shipp Jr., was spot on, not everyone seemed to sweeten up to his portrayal. Jada Pinkett Smith, childhood friend of Tupac (who was portrayed by Kat Graham), pointed out a few fallacies when it came to her and her friend. After watching the film, even though the encounters that were shown on film with Pac and Jada didn't occur, my theory is that they were trying to portray Jada as Pac remembered her: a strong Black woman.

See? Now, Jada has my mind working. There are many biopics that I enjoyed over the years that are historically inaccurate but make for great entertainment. Here are four biopics that have false occurrences.

4. The Jacksons: An American Dream

'The Jacksons: An American Dream' [Credit: The Stan Marguiles Company / KJ Films]
'The Jacksons: An American Dream' [Credit: The Stan Marguiles Company / KJ Films]

Released 25 years ago, this mini-series sheds light on an iconic family within the music industry: The Jacksons. The film not only dealt with Michael and how he and his brothers rose to stardom, but also shed light on his parents, Joseph Jackson and Katherine Jackson. We were able to see events from this family that no one has seen before, such as: abuse, infidelity, what goes on backstage at the concerts, and betrayal. We also get a chance to know a young Michael before he was signed to Motown Records. In the film, Michael has a pet rat named, Mr. Rat.

Well, according to his mother, Michael didn't have a pet rat until after he was signed to Motown. Speaking of pets, at the time of Thriller's release in the film, Michael is still living with his parents, which was true, but at his parents house he had a zoo. As a Michael fan, I knew something was fishy. He didn't have a giraffe and lion until he moved to the famous Neverland Ranch.

3. The Blind Side

'The Blind Side' [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]
'The Blind Side' [Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures]

Eight years ago, we were able to get a glimpse of Michael Oher's life prior to his NFL fame. In that movie, Mike is adopted by a wealthy white family and groomed to be the man he is today. Throughout the movie, he bonds not only with Sandra Bullock's character, but mainly with her son. In the film, Michael seemed as though he never played football before. With that being said, the real Michael Oher did an interview with ABC News and told them that was completely false — he knew how to play football prior to living with the Tuohys.

While watching this interview, I noticed that the real Tuohy son wasn't even an elementary school student when he met Mike, he was actually a high school student. Why did they change the age of the youngest son?

2. Saving Mr. Banks

'Saving Mr. Banks' [Credit: Walt Disney Pictures]
'Saving Mr. Banks' [Credit: Walt Disney Pictures]

As a self-proclaimed Disney fan, I was actually a bit curious about this film. I knew that it would be a biopic about the production of Mary Poppins, a classic I never saw, but it was really enlightening to see how P.L. Travers was reluctant to sell the rights to something she held dear. I didn't know that she wasn't a fan of Disney's animation. So much so, that upon finding out that they were going to include animated penguins, she abruptly left the studio and caught a flight back home to London. What convinced her to sell the rights was Walt Disney flying to London himself, giving Travers some words of encouragement and some insight into his personal life.

In reality, that conversation didn't happen in person, but rather over the phone. In fact, Disney was on vacation during most of the production of Mary Poppins. In the film, they made it seem as though he was present throughout the entire process. One thing that did stay true to reality was Walt Disney being an avid smoker.

1. Dangerous Minds

'Dangerous Minds' [Credit: Buena Vista Pictures]
'Dangerous Minds' [Credit: Buena Vista Pictures]

This film is actually in my Top 10 favorite movies of all time. The fact that it took place in an urban society on my home soil, the Bay Area, may have had a little something to do with my enjoyment of the movie, but it also showed that these troubled youth, after warming up to Michelle Pfeiffer's Lou Ann Johnson, have a willingness to learn. Before this, there was one student who wasn't so welcoming of Johnson: Emilio. In the film, after having a heart-to-heart conversation with Johnson about life going forward after high school, Emilio is murdered.

In reality, that conversation was much more pleasant. The real Emilio Ramirez became a Marine and has a family. Many people like to bash the film as a typical white savior story, but I didn't see it that way. I saw a woman that wanted to better at-risk kids.

Though these films are entertaining, it would've been nice to see some authenticity portrayed on screen. The point of biopics are to educate. How are moviegoers suppose to learn when they're being mislead on screen?

What are some other biopics that weren't necessarily accurate?


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