- The Washington Times - Friday, May 5, 2017

His admonition to fans to turn up the volume on a social-media video has proven controversial enough to cause actor Chris Pratt to apologize to the deaf community and remove the ostensibly offensive video, Entertainment Weekly (EW) reported.

“The original video was reportedly posted to Marvel’s Facebook page, promoting Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, according to The Mighty,” explained EW on Thursday. ” ‘C’mon seriously dude,’ Pratt said in the video, urging viewers to ignore subtitles. ‘You’d rather read those than hear me?’ “

It was that last line in particular that offended some advocates for the deaf and hearing-impaired, and Mr. Pratt soon took to Instagram to explain his original intent and apologize for any offense caused. The brief silent apology video was narrated by Mr. Pratt personally in American Sign Language and a fuller written explanation and apology was posted as a comment attached to the video

“Instagram does this thing where it mutes all the videos it shows and forces you to turn on the volume in order to hear them,” he began his comment posted to the video, jokingly adding that it’s probably “because most people are watching those videos at work when they should be working and don’t want to get caught. I know that’s when I do it.”

“So when I made a video recently with subtitles, and requested that people turn up the volume and not just ‘read the subtitles’ it was so people wouldn’t scroll past the video on mute, thus watching and digesting the information in the video,” he added, before moving on to his apology.

“HOWEVER, I realize now doing so was incredibly insensitive to the many folks out there who depend on subtitles. More than 38 million Americans live with some sort of hearing disability. So I want to apologize. I have people in my life who are hearing-impaired, and the last thing in the world I would want to do is offend them or anybody who suffers from hearing loss or any other disability. So truly from the bottom of my heart I apologize. Thanks for pointing this out to me. In the future I’ll try to be a little less ignorant about it.”

Mr. Pratt went on to chastise Instagram for lacking a closed-caption option and urged the social-media outlet to fix that.

“Why doesn’t Instagram have some kind of technology to automatically add subtitles to its videos? Or at least the option, he complained. “I did a little exploring and it seems lacking in that area. Shouldn’t there be an option for closed captioning or something? I’ve made them lord knows how much money with my videos and pictures. Essentially sharing myself for free. I know they profit. So… GET ON IT INSTAGRAM!!! Put closed captioning on your app.”

• Ken Shepherd can be reached at kshepherd@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide