Nov 05 2012

Humor or Mockery?

Published by at 11:37 pm under Open Chat Night

Blog topic written by Hannah Mann, staff writer at

New York interpreter Lydia Callis’ televised translation of Mayor Bloomberg’s news conference on Hurricane Sandy has sparked a series of spoofs from late night comedy shows.  One in particular, the Chelsea Lately show, generated outrage because of the way Chelsea Handler’s “interpreter” portrayed American Sign Language.  On the other hand, some deaf and hard of hearing people thought it was funny and did not take offense.

The clip can be viewed with Youtube’s automatic transcription feature here:  In case that link doesn’t work, you can watch the clip here as well, though it does not offer transcription.

Chelsea Handler is far from the first person to poke fun at deaf and hard of hearing people, and reactions can be unpredictable.  What is the line for you?  Can you think of any instances in which you, as a deaf or hard of hearing person, approved of a comedian’s treatment of people with hearing loss, and why?  Conversely, have there been comedy routines that upset or offended you, and why?  Tell us more at this week’s Open Chat Night.

You can also discuss Humor or Mockery? in the forum.

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