With such a wide range of deaf people available, and more than willing, to perform and looking for an opportunity to do so, the decision to cast a hearing person to play a deaf person is deeply insulting. Also, “deaf mute” is a very much outdated term from the 1800s to early 1900s, and shows the ignorance at large about deaf people. Deaf people are rarely, if ever, mute. Yes, some of them are unable to speak with their mouths, but they more than make up for it with sign language. We as a society are supposed to be much more educated and enlightened now, but instantly it has been shown to be false, as a throwback term from over 100 years ago has been made headlines. There are 38 million deaf people in the USA, and we will no longer remain silent. We are not mute. We are going to make ourselves heard and seen.
Yesterday morning on Super Bowl Sunday, my Facebook and Twitter started buzzing not just with all the sports, but surprisingly, also with this use of #deaftalent. Immediately, I zoned in on the matter and surprise surprise – it’s another round of appropriation of Deaf culture in mainstream media! Settle in boys and girls – you’re in for a treat.
New York Daily News dropped an article last week on how hearing actress Catalina Sandino Moreno was going to be playing a “mute deaf” mother in the upcoming film Medeas, directed by Italian director Andrea Pallaoro.
Let me break down for you the many things wrong in just that sentence alone.
1. Hearing actors playing deaf roles.
ACK, NO – THIS IS NOT OKAY. Where do I even begin? While I’d consider the Deaf community to still be one of the most oppressed minorities today – it’s still problematic for hearing…
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