This Is Us never fails to make us cry, but the Nov. 29 episode titled "The Trip" was especially turbulent, and not just for its usual reasons. After Randall discovers in the Thanksgiving episode that his mother had known his birth father since he was born and deliberately kept him from him, his hurt feelings are at the center of Tuesday night's storyline. In one especially tear-jerking scene, we see a young Randall attend a martial arts class run by a black man, somebody his parents hope can be a strong role model in his life. Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) is then asked to do push-ups with Randall on his back to physically show his dedication to holding his son up throughout his life. The scene is beautiful as Jack refuses to stop even after the instructor tells him he can, proving to his son that he will never stop fighting for him.
But while fans of the show were moved by the father-son bonding moment, one person in particular felt betrayed by it all. Jason Wilson, the founder of The Cave of Adullam Transformational Training Academy in Detroit, took to Facebook to reveal that he actually created the ritual with his students and that the show used it without his permission, writing:
Thank you everyone for your support, comments and prayers. I can't lie, I am crushed beyond words right now because I sacrificially give my blood, sweat and tears for the boys, young men and families that I serve in The Cave of Adullam Transformational Training Academy. For This Is Us TV show writers to not ask for permission to use our initiation tradition that I created and literally plagiarize both of our viral videos is disheartening, dastardly and despicable. Tears began to swell my eyes as I watched "the dojo" scene of the actors portraying what is ever sacred in our academy. If you only knew the tears I've cried for my boys! If you only knew the spiritual attacks I face DAILY for my boys! If you only knew the sacrifice EVERY parent makes that has enrolled their sons in the Cave! IF YOU ONLY KNEW WHAT IT TAKES TO GET OUR BOYS READY TO GET PUSHED UP BY THEIR FATHERS! Maybe just then you would see how disrespectful and dishonorable you were to not even ask me for permission.
Watch Jason's video below to see the obvious similarities.