Marlee Matlin criticized CBS for not showing deaf cast members like Shaheem Sanchez (pictured) during Sunday’s Super Bowl telecast. The big game featured several ASL artists performing during the pregame and halftime show, but none of them received significant airtime.
“I am absolutely shocked at CBS for introducing the deaf performers at tonight’s Super Bowl and then not showing even a second (or more) of their performance.” . as has been a tradition for 30 years,” the Oscar-winning deaf actor wrote on social media. “WHY!?”
Matlin’s “CODA” costar Daniel Durant performed the national anthem (which was sung by Reba McEntire), while Anjel Piñero sang “America the Beautiful” (which was sung by Post Malone) during the audition. Sanchez performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing” (sung by Andra Day) in addition to Usher’s halftime show. CBS had shared a landing page on X on his website, which featured a livestream of his ASL artists.
CBS came under fire last year during the Super Bowl for the same reasons. “Including three deaf artists in the Super Bowl is a step in the right direction, but how is the network treating their performances? “It was far from great,” wrote Alison Stine for Salon. Although ASL actors Justina Miles, Troy Kotsur and Colin Denny all received overwhelming praise for their performances, they were hard to find on screen for deaf audiences at home. A YouTube link promised viewers access to the sign language performances, but the link was mislabeled, the feed was incorrect, and the broadcast had no subtitles.