The video of Bloomberg’s press conference that had an ASL interpreter for the hearing impaired apparently caught the eye of Chelsea Handler and her writers.
The Deaf Community has a very strong sense of unity among it.
DeafNation wrote the following letter to Miss Handler:
Our very own Rocco Leo Gaglioti also addressed this issue with Miss Handler:
2118 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 1053
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Dear Miss Handler,
Normally, I think you are a funny, witty, extremely intelligent woman that I enjoy watching perform. However, you crossed a very sensitive line when you decided that the Deaf Community was food for fodder.
I am a CODA (Child of a Deaf Adult), so I do have a bit of an opinion when it comes to the Deaf Community, and believe me Miss Handler, it is a Community and a very tight one.
The derogatory way you spoke about the interpreter and ASL was very much beneath your intelligence and that of most of your audience. You play to a more intelligent demographic than a lot of other comediennes do. With that higher intelligence, though, comes a higher responsibility to be more socially aware.
I realize with comedy every subject can be on the table. The only problem with that is that the sense of entitlement to say whatever becomes greater and greater because if someone disagrees with the subject matter, the comedienne can stand behind the constitution or the unwritten rules of comedy and say “Don’t tell me what I can and can’t make fun of.” or, “They just don’t have a sense of humor and not everyone will like everything”.
That is very true, we can’t control whether everyone will like everything that we do. But the one thing we can control is how we treat other people and how we edify groups of people that may have a harder journey through this life than others. I believe making fun of people who are born with an extra challenge to overcome beside the ones that this journey through life hands us already, is really a low brow, uncultivated sense of humor.
On behalf of Miss and Mister Deaf International, I would like to invite you to become a little more cognizant of how beautiful the ASL way of communicating really is. It is a flowing, dramatic language that engages the whole being in order to express what hearing people can say in just a few words.
Rocco Leo Gaglioti
Vice President MMDI
I konw that humor is subjective and I have probably laughed out loud at stuff that was inappropriate and most definitely politically incorrect. The difference is I haven’t taken my humor on a show for millions to witness my stupidity. I prefer to have my moments of idiocy in private with friends who can forgive my lapse of good judgement for a moment. Chelsea decided to show her hand in front of millions of people- some hearing, some not.
Chelsea, the ignorance you showed was embarrassing. I can see that what you thought would be a funny sketch turned into a show of poor taste. It isn’t too late to save it. I know you will probably do the tried and true classic PR strategy people in “The Biz” called the “Shut the hell up and don’t say another word, how am I going to put out this fire????” strategy, but it would be refreshing if maybe you, Mel Gibson, and Michael Richards could get together and do a PSA about how inappropriate actions and poor choices can have lasting affects on people. You would be doing the public a great service and, frankly, Michael Richards too! (Has anyone seen him lately????)