‘This is Us’ admits it was inspired by Detroit mentor’s father-son training program

The staff of NBC’s ‘This is Us’ admits it was “inspired” by a Detroit mentor’s method of training young boys to be men – albeit very quietly, and a month after viewers noticed similarities between a scene in the show and a viral video from the Detroit training academy.

In December, Jason Wilson, CEO of the Detroit-based The Cave of Adullam Transformational Training Academy, first spoke to BLAC about his concerns that the critically lauded drama had borrowed heavily from one of his training methods in which a father does a push-up with his son on his back.

In “This is Us,” the scene is called a “father/son initiation,” but Wilson says the initiation is just one part of a lengthy mentoring program practiced exclusively at The Cave of Adullam. Videos from the training academy have gone viral, and show creator Dan Fogelman says a member of his writing staff spotted the push-up exercise.

But Wilson says he never received proper credit – until now. A tweet issued via 20th Century Fox TV, the studio where “Us” is produced, acknowledged Wilson’s training methods.

“The emotional episode of ‘This is Us’ titled ‘The Trip’ included a martial arts studio scene that was inspired by Jason Wilson and his inspirational teaching at The Cave of Adullam Transformational Training Academy in Detroit, Michigan. The producers and writers of ‘This is Us’ found Mr. Wilson’s work with his students incredibly moving,” reads the tweet, which also links to The Cave’s site.


Wilson tells BLAC he is limited in what he can disclose regarding this resolution between him and 20th Century Fox but did say "they made it right."

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