Oscars slammed for 'cutting out' deaf star Marlee Matlin: 'So rude'

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Catch all the live updates from 2021 Oscars here.

The Oscars has been met with backlash after cutting away from deaf actress Marlee Matlin, who was communicating a number of nominations in sign language with an interpreter to voice what she was signing.

When the actress began signing, fans assumed the camera would stay on her, however they quickly turned to nominees while the interpreter's voice was heard.

The Oscars have been met with backlash after cutting away from deaf actress Marlee Matlin communicating by sign language. Photo: ABC
The Oscars have been met with backlash after cutting away from deaf actress Marlee Matlin communicating by sign language. Photo: ABC

Many social media users were shocked that if cameras were going to cut away from her, that she wasn't placed somewhere else on screen.

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"Having Marlee Matlin present an award, then cut away from her entirely while she's speaking so you just hear the interpreter's voice is...a choice," one user wrote on Twitter.

"Doesn’t make sense at all that, while Marlee Matlin presents an award in #ASL, they cut away from her entirely while she's speaking! Totally missing the point," another said.

Photo: Twitter
Photo: Twitter
Photo: Twitter
Photo: Twitter

"Why is Marlee Matlin not included in a box while presenting the names of the nominees during #Oscars? She’s still speaking but you have to see her, not just listen to her translator," someone else added.

"Why didn't they put Marlee Matlin in a box while she was signing?" one user wrote. "You can tell the producers have no one in their lives who are deaf or HOH. How the hell do you have a woman who is deaf and signing but not show her the whole time? Just horrible. Do better, Oscars!"

Photo: Twitter
Photo: Twitter
Photo: Twitter
Photo: Twitter

"Wow #oscars so rude to cut away from Marlee Matlin like that," another said. "Whose brilliant idea was that?"

"They invited Marlee Matlin to present an award and then didn’t show her signing as she went through the nominees... COME ON, REALLY?!" yet another angry viewer wrote.

However, some people were "blown away" by the diversity of the show.

"Am I really watching the #Oscars?" one user questioned. "There’s lots of Brown, Black, Asian and non- English speaking people presenting and winning awards. Is it too early in the evening to be saying this?"

They added, "Then Marlee Matlin presents in sign language. I’m blown away with the diversity of the #Oscars."

Others called it "performative", with one Twitter user writing, "You would think #Oscars would know how to do a split-screen in 2021 to include ASL on screen if they’re gonna have @MarleeMatlin presenting... This is an example of performative diversity/inclusion but lack of equity."

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