- Marlee Matlin was one of the presenters
- She was communicating through sign language
- Marlee Matlin had an interpreter on the side
It's not the Oscars unless Twitter is annoyed by something, right? The 93rd Academy Awards ticked all the right boxes on diversity until it came to hearing-impaired actress Marlee Matlin who was one of the presenters this year. Ms Matlin, the only hearing-impaired performer to have won an acting Academy Award - for 1986 film Children Of A Lesser God - signed her speech with an interpreter onstage. The Oscar telecast, however, cut away from her mid-speech, earning the wrath of social media which has shredded the Academy for being "rude." Marlee Matlin, now 55, won the Oscar for Best Actress at the age of 21, the youngest ever winner in the category.
Marlee Matlin's presence at the Oscars this year was particularly special because one of the films on the slate of nominees was Sound Of Metal, the story of a drummer losing his hearing. The two stars of the film, Riz Ahmed and Paul Raci, were nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor.
The poignancy of this appeared to have passed the Academy by, infuriating Twitter. "Wow Oscars! So rude to cut away from Marlee Matlin like that. Whose brilliant idea was that?" tweeted a user.
Wow #oscars so rude to cut away from Marlee Matlin like that. Whose brilliant idea was that?— maximamastetson (@MaxiMamaStetson) April 26, 2021
Similar thoughts echoed in this tweet. "OMG Oscars way to marginalize deaf folks even more by cutting Marlee out of the screen while signing. You could've shown in the corner of the screen," read the post.
OMG #Oscars way to marginalize #deaf folks even more by cutting Marlee out of the screen while signing. You could've SHOWN HER in the corner of the screen!!! #MarleeMatlin#asl— Lisa Bertolini (@bertolini_lisa) April 26, 2021
Addressing the Academy, this fan of the actress wrote: "You should have split screened or done box in box when Marlee Matlin was signing about the people nominated. Needs work."
@TheAcademy You should have split screened or done box in box when #MarleeMatlin was signing about the people nominated. #needswork— Tara (@TFuesh) April 26, 2021
This message came loud and clear - "Uh, why does Marlee Matlin have a (male) voiceover?! She can speak. Oscars."
Uh, why does #MarleeMatlin have a (male) voiceover?! She can speak #oscars— Miss Kim (@Miss_Kim_H) April 26, 2021
"Marlee Matlin has the rare opportunity to sign while presenting a couple of categories at the Oscars, and they cut immediately to the nominees with no split or reduced screen, cutting out her signing for the most of her presentation," read a tweet from another angry user.
Marlee Matlin has the rare opportunity to sign while presenting a couple of categories at the Oscars, and they cut immediately to the nominees with no split or reduced screen, cutting out her signing for the most of her presentation... y'al #Oscars— Fabiana Dvila-Viera (@fabi_dv) April 26, 2021
Marlee Matlin made a stunning red carpet appearance in a black Vivienne Westwood gown made with sustainable fabric and decorated with sequins. She shared snippets from the Oscars on her Instagram profile. See the posts here:
This move came as a surprise to many this year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences drastically reformed its membership in recent years and had the most diverse list of nominees this year.