Deafness is not a costume you can put on. Yep. Words from the Director of the recently released film #Coda. Creativity comes from lived experience. So many aspects to that culture and experience you can’t play unless you have lived it. Oh my goodness. The Director has been reading all my Posts and stolen my lines.
Seriously. It should be the default. Deaf characters being played by Deaf actors. 20 years behind other under-represented groups. A need to accelerate. Quickly.
A commitment to learning and understanding the language. The ability to communicate is crucial. No-one is suggesting anyone can be fluent quickly but the Director understood the need to know the basics and use interpreters. To connect.
Coda is an acronym for child of a Deaf adult. The film explores a world where the non-Deaf child is the outsider in a Deaf family. Not the usual lens.
#StrictlyComeDancing has gone the more traditional route. Deaf contestant, #RoseAyling-Ellis in a hearing environment. We need to adapt. It is an ongoing conversation. My words plagiarised again! And the sentiments of so many Deaf people wanting an equal voice. Bloody brilliant. The whole production team undergoing Deaf awareness training. Learning Sign Language. These moments, delivered correctly, will raise awareness and educate in every home up to Christmas. And then beyond.
Changing the Deaf Conversation.