Marvel Studios - Open Caption The Eternals for Everyone
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Marvel has announced that Lauren Ridloff--a Deaf actress of Mexican and African descent--as been cast in The Eternals. Her character will use ASL throughout the film and for the first time, Deaf children will see themselves represented in a Marvel movie. It’s a huge leap forward for representative casting, but casting is not enough for Deaf and disabled audiences to enjoy The Eternals.
Around 466 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss, and 34 million of those people are children, according to the World Health Organization. Open Captions are on-screen text that allows everyone to enjoy a film equally. People who are hard of hearing have to use closed caption equipment which is often broken, dirty, and uncomfortable, or have to wait until the video is available at home. Marvel movies are larger than life. All moviegoers should be able to enjoy the action in the theater comfortably, at the same exact time--and not be forced to wait for a lesser experience.
The whole world will be rushing to theaters to see this film. But the people who need to see it the most won’t even be able to understand it. I am a stay at home mom of three toddlers. One of my kids has a Sensory Disorder, and going to things like the movies can be pretty traumatic for him. While we’ve been learning ASL so that he can speak, I want him to be able to experience this movie fully. Closed caption equipment often fails, or doesn't fit right when it's only available in adult sizes. And captions just aren’t for people with hearing disorders--I also use captions myself at home 24/7 because I have PTSD and loud noises really get to me. I was told by a group of moms that they give their kids noise canceling headphones or earplugs when going to theaters due to sensory issues. If I were to use that option, open Captions would benefit even me.
We’re asking Marvel Studios to release this film with open captions for every showing. Not only would it make history, but it is the RIGHT thing to do.
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