February 23, 2024

Marlee Matlin is calling out CBS after the network didn’t feature the American Sign Language (ASL) performers during the live Super Bowl LVIII broadcast.

Deaf artists Shaheem Sanchez, Anjel Piñero and Daniel Durant were introduced during the game before their performances. Sanchez performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing” with Andra Day, Piñero was introduced to perform alongside Post Malone “America, The Beautiful” and Durant interpreted the National Anthem alongside Reba McEntire.

“I am absolutely SHOCKED at CBS for introducing the Deaf performers at today’s pregame #SuperBowl and then not showing even one second (or more) of their performance… as has been tradition for the last 30 years. WHY!?” Matlin posted on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

Ahead of the Super Bowl, Matlin had posted on X a link to a CBS Sports page where the ASL performers would be featured.

Matlin had previously interacted with Elon Musk after the Tesla CEO questioned “the point of sign language in a video if you have subtitled.”

“As someone who uses both ASL and English, I can tell you they are grammatically and culturally different. So if someone who is Deaf and uses ASL exclusively, then a signer on screen provides access,” Matlin replied.

In 2023, Matlin was a jury member at the Sundance Film Festival and walked out of a Magazine Dreams screening after the festival failed to provide captions for audience members.

“The screening device used to provide closed captions did not work at one of our Friday evening premieres. The jury left and will see it together at another time during the Festival. Our team immediately worked with the devices in that venue to test them again for the next screening and the device worked without any malfunction,” Joana Vicente, CEO Sundance Institute, said in a statement following the incident.

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