Deaf and hard of hearing Netflix viewers are calling for better closed captions
After the second season of Netflix’s “Queer Eye” was released in mid-June, deaf and hard of hearing fans have been asking Netflix for better and accurate closed captions to make the show accessible.According to Huffington Post writer Jenna Amatulli, the captions provided have been taking away the full experience of the show for deaf and hard of hearing viewers. “As indicated on social media, the show’s closed caption subtitles aren’t always the best. They censor profanity or are blatantly inaccurate,” Amatulli says. The inaccurate captions sparked many conversations on Twitter. Most fans were explaining how frustrated they feel about not having full access to the show. They also express to Netflix that they need to improve their closed captions.
“Queer Eye” star Karamo Brown, spoke up about the issue, addressing that he was heartbroken and wants the show to be accessible for deaf and hard of hearing people.
it fundamentally changes the experience of the television show for anyone who is d/Deaf or HOH, and it does so without their consent. that’s seriously ableist, @netflix— ace ratcliff ♿ (@MortuaryReport) June 27, 2018
Reading everyone’s comments breaks my heart. I don’t know how much power I have but know, the next time I’m at Netflix I’m going to bring up this issue internally & wont stop until something changes. Deaf & HOH people should have the same experience as everyone else! #TypoFixed https://t.co/AQ4emvgUBv— Karamo Brown (@KaramoBrown) June 28, 2018
What does Netflix say?It is not just “Queer Eye” that is showing incorrect captions, but also Marvel’s “Luke Cage” has a similar problem. The BBC talked to Gemma Rayner-Jones, from England, about closed captions on Netflix. Shes uses closed captions because of a cognitive impairment. She can hear and has been keeping a record of inaccurate subtitles on Netflix for two years. “Everyone should be getting the same experience,” she explained to the BBC. She also says that despite her filing many complaints, she has never heard back from Netflix. This time, however, after numerous tweets to Netflix from viewers and help from Brown, Netflix eventually responded.
We’ve heard about the caption issues on the service, specifically for @QueerEye. After looking into it, there’s lots of dialogue missing from the Fab 5 that shouldn’t be. We’re fixing it. In some cases, we do bleep incidental profanity from our unscripted series.— Netflix CS (@Netflixhelps) June 28, 2018
Netflix said that they are investigating the closed captions for both shows. Closed captions have been an ongoing struggle between large media companies and deaf and hard of hearing viewers. Vicdeaf‘s Kim Kavanagh, summarized to The Sydney Morning Herald what it could mean for Netflix if they finally brought full accessibility through closed captions. “Equal access to information and inclusion in all aspects of society is a fundamental human right,” she said. “If Netflix were to lead the way in this area, it would set a powerful example for others to follow. ” Viewers have yet to see whether or not Netflix will follow through and provide the closed captions needed to make shows accessible. Learn more about the importance of captions on Netflix here.
Delivering a great experience to our deaf and hard of hearing members is very important to us. We’ve also heard from fans about a similar concern in Marvel’s Luke Cage season 2 — we’re looking into this now— Netflix CS (@Netflixhelps) June 28, 2018