Tag Archives: deaf.access

Don’t sugar the pill honey, tell us how you REALLY feel…

…about subtitled cinema. As one of many deaf or HoH people up and down the country, I was amazed by Sara Cox’s comments on twitter regarding a subtitled showing of Bridesmaids that she happened to show up at. Rather than go into it all again, I’m simply going to post the complaint I just sent to the BBC.

Dear BBC,

I am a deaf licence fee payer, and I see no reason why I should be insulted by an employee of the BBC. The fact that it was done by a BBC public figure on a social media website who has nigh on 280,000 followers is bad enough, but the levels of ignorance displayed by Sara “For all you gobshites…” Cox and the support that she garnered from some of her followers in the face of fierce criticism “Don’t worry about it hen, some people go out of their way to be offended” was frankly depressing.

Of course I was offended. If I was hearing, I could walk into the cinema of my choice, at the time of my choice, and watch the film of my choice and enjoy it at my leisure. Instead, as someone who relies completely on subtitles, I have to wait until my local cinema shows a subtitled screening at some random hour on a random day of the week (in my area, usually Tuesdays and Sundays). If I turn up, and the promised subtitles don’t work, it’s an uphill battle to get my money back from the cinema. So to look at twitter and see Sara Cox not only complaining about the subtitles; “If I was wearing my specs, I cd’ve just put a thin strip of gaffer tape across the bottom of the lenses to block out the subs” etc, but asking for half her money back because they were there, was just unbelievable. If they had actually given her any money back for it, I think I would have had a heart attack.

There are an estimated 10 million people in the UK with some form of hearing loss, and yet there are precious few service providers, such as cinemas, who recognise this and act accordingly. So much of cinema is inaccessible to the deaf, and to complain about access for other people struck me as ignorant and selfish. Unfortunately, as some of her followers made clear, such attitudes are commonplace.

I believe that Sara Cox should apologise publicly and make amends by doing something to raise awareness of the unfairness that deaf people have to face every day. Failing that, perhaps make her sit in a cinema with no sound and no subtitles. Maybe then she would fully appreciate why so she upset so many people with her comments.

Yours sincerely

Donna Williams

Whilst it’s not as eloquent as that posted by PeskyPeople: http://www.peskypeople.co.uk/2011/07/my-complaint-to-bbc-about-the-offending-tweets-made-by-dj-sara-cox/ I hope it will get a response, and if Sara Cox is eventually forced to eat humble pie, so much the better.

My prize for best twitter response goes to Charlie Swinbourne for: @sarajcoxsee usually, it’s advertised and when deafies turn up, the subtitles don’t work. Kind of ironic that the reverse pissed you off. charlie_swin

Well said.