Wednesday, 19 September 2018

American deaf campaigners in typecast overkill?

Image result for typecasting
Marlee Matlin and Nyle Di Marco in a  funk about typecasting not being used?

The American way of inclusion seems to be making more minority output, not more inclusive output.  All male, all female, all trans, all gay, all blind, all black etc, mainstream media won't go with it, because it limits wider appeal.  Mainstream will feel marginalised themselves and switch out.

OK a hearie acting as a deafie in the film 'The Silence', hardly the first, and not the last either... can any deaf actor do the reverse?  or would accept criticism for so doing?  would soak up the ridicule and abuse from own peers? Surely typecasting is the deaf actor's worst nightmare?  OK Matlin and Di Marco made a killing acting as themselves, but there are areas at present the deaf cannot act as hearing people, acting is about pretence, not realism surely?  Else its a lecture, and deaf lack inclusion experience. Their background is based on segregation.

Every day of their lives 10m HoH in the UK and 40% of deaf play that hearing role too.  The USA has near 4 times as many.

Deaf acting in films/Stage is about role play, not being themselves.  Do the deaf cultural supporters want everyone unable to speak and signing as an image?  How do we ditch the Deaf politic?  This would not reflect the reality.  CI's probably are.  Di Marco is agay who signs and appeals to the Gay USA community, Matlin is a signer full stop who actually hasn't made any successful films since COALG which typecast her as a signing deaf woman.

If deaf people can only play deaf roles, then this is a huge disadvantage to potential film or stage employment and suggests the deaf cannot do anything else, and require more versatility.    There are only so many deaf films being made, and next to none for hearing viewing.  More ability to switch role-playing is essential. 

Potential filmmakers/theatre moguls demand deaf show the theatre and film/arts areas they are MORE than just people who cannot hear and use sign language, that they have an ability to switch roles.  It's called acting,  a deafie that signs isn't something no-one else can do.  Hearing interpreters have done it since day one, a lot of them superior signers too.  Do we demand they must be deaf too?

Actually, what deaf need is more 'hearing experience' so the audience can see the bridges of communication and interaction in real time, not someone repeatedly stating I am deaf with a  D and have a culture, that is minority 'cut and paste' awareness, not acting and belongs in awareness seminars not on the stage or film. If viewers want lectures they attend seminars.  Typecasting is killing opportunity for the deaf.  The fact a hearing person can not only sign better but is more aware of the hearing angle is a plus let's face it.  

It's a situation the deaf actor cannot equate with, the issue lies in teaching deaf what access and real inclusion is and able to cross divides, not repeatedly insist they are some stand-alone area demanding own way of things.  At present they are opposing mainstreaming, and inclusion processes, immediately disadvantaging their own, then blaming it on perceived discrimination.  

If they want those options, then stick to  Deaf cultural output and play to their own minority gallery, but it still won't raise mainstream awareness that way.  Deaf output for deaf people?  No way...


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