You might remember the recent controversy with a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 advertisement on Facebook earlier this month. The advertisement was the result of a complete error in judgement. In the advertisement, lead actor Chris Pratt tells the viewer to get rid of the captions and turn up the volume saying "You'd rather read those than hear me?" Many, particularly the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, were unimpressed with the insensitive joke. Chris Pratt responded by making an apology video in American Sign Language to the Deaf community. The controversy highlighted the importance of providing captions on videos. You can check out our video all about the controversy here.
There was a mixed response to Chris Pratt's apology and the Guardian's of the Galaxy controversy. Many praised Chris Pratt for his sincere apology. Unfortunately, there were many people who directed insults towards the Deaf community for example, "Just because you have a disability doesn't mean you can throw a tantrum because someone famous said something you don't like that was not even about you. GROW UP." and "You all should just learn to lip read. It's easy!"
Two friends, Jake Grafman and Marco Anthony Guiterrez, who are both deaf, were outraged by these comments. So rather than brushing the issue to the side, they decided to start the #NoMoreVoicing campaign, along with their two hearing friends Katie and Monica. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness about accessibility for deaf and hard-of-hearing people and the importance of providing closed captioning on videos.
The initial objective for the #NoMoreVoicing campaign was to encourage people to post videos signing "#NoMoreVoicing" and not have captions. This was a way to show hearing people who don't know any sign language the struggles that a person who is deaf or hard of hearing goes through when a video isn't captioned. It was definitely an interesting way to approach the situation and certainly caught some attention. Jake and Marco's video explaining the campaign has currently reached over 1 million people on Facebook. It has encouraged many other members of the Deaf community to show their support with videos.
#NoMoreVoicing is an important campaign for accessibility and doesn't show any signs of stopping. You can find out more about the campaign on Facebook and Twitter. And check out Jake and Marco's video below. #NoMoreVoicing!