Huff Post Entertainment
by Lydia L. Callis
Feb 17, 2015
Over the past couple weeks, the #DeafTalent movement spread like wildfire across social media. Using this hashtag, members of the Deaf community publicly spoke out against the cultural appropriation of deafness in movies and TV. With so many talented deaf/HoH performer working to catch their big break in Hollywood, it is inexcusable that hearing actors and actresses continue being cast for these roles. Deaf parts belong to deaf performers -- people who understand the experience of hearing loss and can accurately portray deaf characters. Just as blackface is not an acceptable way to depict a black character, having a non-deaf actor pretend to be deaf is irresponsible, unethical, and offensive.
The #DeafTalent hashtag began making waves after a NY Daily News interview with Catalina Sandino Moreno raised red flags in the Deaf community. Moreno, a hearing actress, was cast to play a deaf woman in the leading role of her new film Medeas. But in the NYDN interview, it became clear that Moreno has had very little exposure to deafness or Deaf culture.