Deaf model and activist Nyle DiMarco took to Twitter to express his frustrations of not being able to access a subtitled cinema showing.
After walking out of a screening of Marvel’s Black Panther, DiMarco described that the terrible closed-captioning device which skipped lines and scenes, left him feeling “so disabled”.
Not long after he tweeted, he received a flurry of responses from deaf people saying they could empathize with him and shared their own experiences of cinema inaccessibility. Some saying that they have given up on going to the cinema and would rather wait for the DVD to come out.
Shoshannah Stern, star in TV show This Close
tweeted about her bad experience with captions.
After all the feedback from the deaf community agreeing with DiMarco, AMC Theater only gave him two free tickets to a movie.
This is nowhere near the first time for this to be a problem in cinemas. Just a few months ago the incident at a Star Wars showing in Brighton, UK which was advertised with subtitles but shown without, which a group of deaf people said they “had no choice but to leave” when the cinema refused to start the film again with subtitles.
A similar situation happened in Rhode Island when ‘Beauty and the Beast’ was released.
Why I started a petition for more subtitled movie showings
People have shown their wishes for US cinemas to show more open captioned films, however they focus more on using closed captioning devices, such as the Captiview which DiMarco was presented with when watching Black Panther.
DiMarco tweeted about why it doesn’t make sense for cinemas to invest in these devices.
“It is A LOT cheaper to have open captioning because the clunky device costs $1,500-$3000. Spending more $$$ to make people feel even more disabled, I’ll never understand that logic,” says DiMarco.
As DiMarco mentions, it makes more sense to have open captioning then to invest in expensive devices. Subtitled showings provide better access to reading the captions while watching the movie.
Spurred on by the lack of subtitled showings from my own experiences, I created a petition for more reasonable subtitled cinema showings which you can sign to bring about change
Let’s continue to make our voice heard and fight for accessibility change in cinemas.