Wednesday, 26 February 2020
They did it themselves, now trying to backtrack it seems via social media, using arguments against a hearing actor playing a deaf one. Generally, deaf acting advocates are getting a real bashing on social media as certain realities come home to roost. There are a number of responses ATR has collected randomly, so not all from just one site, one or two dedicated BSL sites.
1. There is no reason why deaf people have to be played by deaf actors. David Jason has never sold stuff off a barrow, he has never been a policeman, he has never worked in a shop yet he has played all those roles. What is different about a hearing actor playing a deaf person?
2. Perhaps the sore point the Deaf actor cannot reciprocate?
3. With the best will in the world and a plethora of equality laws, the deaf signer CANNOT emulate/act as anything but what he or she is, they are typecast by default the same as someone with no legs has little chance to play a long-distance runner. It's sheer practicality and common sense, not exclusion. Unless they film from the waist up and put someone else's legs doing the running, (even then purists will claim this is an unviable and unrepresentative inclusion).
4. And the Deaf encourage exclusive BSL-Only arts and media output as well, do they even know what they want?
5. Good lip-readers and HoH have more options because they don't have to express themselves so visually and have hearing nous. There is always a danger of the sign use distracting from the scene and the story, there are still major objections to signed support on TV programs by hearing viewers, even to the news. It's an open secret TV wants these 'accessible' areas moved OUT of mainstream view. Hence they are handed free funded programs if they go elsewhere with them.
6. Harsh, but true sadly. There was a film a few years ago where a deaf actor relied totally on lip-reading and won acclaim, but not from other deaf people, who complained she was 'unrepresentative' of deaf people because 'Deaf' sign and don't do that. This meant one deaf area was attempting to push their own 'stereotype' as the deaf norm. I doubt the 'community' can put up the people.
7. We are as diverse in communications as we are in degrees of hearing loss, so it is really time the die-hards of the BSL minority started to accept what is actually the equality law bottom line and the reality. They are perfectly entitled to do own thing, they are not entitled to say it is anyone else's norm or that other areas have to conform to theirs and those who don't are 'doing it wrong' when their own acting area cannot put up.
8. They aren't doing their own thing are they? The duality of BSL art/media, is that it is all funded by the Hard of Hearing, deaf, and deafened taxpayers but few if any of them are included, e.g. via BSL Zone, BSL SEE HEAR, BSL theatre, BSL arts, it is all discriminating, art funding endorses this discriminatory approach, and it is all done from the 'cover', of cultural right, or even 'disability', which appears in direct conflict to equality and real inclusion and to the Deaf view they aren't disabled.
9. Yes it would be far better ALL areas of hearing loss had direct access to this 'BSL art' thing, it would at least then reflect our diversity and inclusion, which should start with us, and not just them asking mainstream to endorse segregational output as some weird form of human right encompassing us all.
10. The signing deaf can never move outside their own communication area, so are entitled to own media, others should stop attacking them.
11. I don't think it is attacking their reliance on sign language it is the claims that this can enable them to portray hearing, and it is discrimination to allow hearing actors to play them when the issue can well be they cannot read the script! Deaf can do everything but hear? not true, deafness provides limitations they cannot overcome, it's a reality, not a criticism, and as they are still not included in society they lack the essential knowledge and experience they need. There are still areas that don't want that inclusion except on the terms they demand.
12. Deaf actors develop their skills through BSL roles, this is no help to them whatever to move out of that comfort zone and play something that is in essence, alien to them. As deaf use sign language and hearing can use it too it seems logical to allow that to happen. After all, they are throwing out sign lessons on social media 24/7. Now they don't want hearing to use it in their area?
13. Film and theatre creators cannot make all their output to suit the sign user on and off stage. There are dozens of other hearing loss areas, and literally, 100s of other minorities and disabled, who will want the same inclusion. Minority Media is here to stay.
14. Perhaps deaf need to lip-read and speak more and get out into the hearing world a lot more to gain the real experiences they need? They won't get in any BSL area, arts or not.
15. Dedicated BSL art is their undoing... The deaf actor becomes a one-trick pony and constantly recreates BSL as a minority output.