The Deaf Dream supports Bloomberg’s interpreter and against Chelsea Handler

I decided to stand up with DeafNation as the founder of The Deaf Dream and others who have not been afraid to call out the media as well as Chelsea Handler.  For those of you who don’t know, thankfully there was an interpreter present when Mayor Bloomberg spoke about Sandy, evacuation announcements, and other important information.  The interpreter, Lydia Callis, who appropriately interpreted the gravity of the situation, has been mocked at every turn for using American Sign Language correctly.  Our language, in it’s very nature, is visual and expressive.  We disapprove of any media that has made fun of our language and our culture.  Chelsea Handler went too far in my opinion and mocked not just Callis, but all Deaf as well.


Your Opinion: Do you feel Chelsea Handler should apologize?


This is not the first time that ASL has been made fun of; since the days of oralist Alexander Graham Bell our language has been labeled “monkey language”, “grotesque gestures” and worse.  We are not going to just sit by while this happens again.  I am supporting DeafNation Joel Barish‘s efforts to stop this.  It’s tricky for The Deaf Dream to promote Deaf rights around the world when our people back home still live in the stone ages when ASL was not considered language but a crutch and a nuisance.


Your Opinion: Do you think I’m being to hard on Chelsea?

If you think I’m too sensitive about this, read this excellent article by Reno Berkeley.  I’m not the only person who feels this way.


Ok, I’m getting off my soapbox now…I’m passing the baton.  Comment below about your feelings concerning the show!


Curious as to why Bloomberg’s interpreter was so expressive?

Read here.


Letter to Chelsea Handler from The Deaf Dream

This entry was posted in My Opinion on...Stuff, The Deaf Dream, Worthy Causes and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to The Deaf Dream supports Bloomberg’s interpreter and against Chelsea Handler

  1. Kristina Flores says:

    Chelsea Handler makes fun of everyone (including herself!!!)

    No, I am not Deaf, but I have studied ASL and been involved in Deaf Culture for 16 years. I am a certified ASL teacher and a certified interpreter. I am very sensitive to Deaf issues and support promoting and educating people about the beautiful cultural and linguistic group of the Deaf.

    You all are certainly entitled to express your opinions to Ms. Handler.

    In my opinion, I think a letter like this may further exacerbate the situation. She and her writers are not the only people on a show (Saturday Night Live) to make fun of the situation. Are you sending them a letter as well? You never know…she may get the letter and

    I have watched Chelsea’s show since the beginning and know that she doesn’t take many things seriously. It’s just a late night talk show and it was a topic during the week.

    I apologize if you, as an individual, take offense to her comments and skit, but really…it was just a comedy bit. As I referenced in the beginning, she makes fun of many groups.

    • Destiny says:

      Thank you for sharing your opinion Kristina! It’s good to see a comment come up from another perspective 🙂 I understand what you’re saying, I truly do, however many of us feel that lying down and not bringing her (and the public’s) attention to our concerns is not necessarily the best plan either. We wrote something respectful and direct because we wanted to make clear that we thought she went too far; I would totally agree with your statement of “exacerbating the situation” IF we had written a letter that was rude and antagonistic to Chelsea and her staff. In my humble opinion, informing, clarifying, and preventing are not actions to avoid in this kind of situation but simply taking advantage of a situation to promote understanding and awareness about our people. 🙂 Thank you again for taking the time to write your opinion!

  2. Clare Tolan says:

    Shame on u Chelsea.. What is wrong with u being so rude to all of deaf and hard of hearing people of ur remark of the interpreter with Mayor Bloomsberg that were very serious to alert all of the deaf and hard of hearing people of the Hurricane Sandy .. Mayor Bloomsberg did his great job caring for his concerns and warnings to alert all of the deaf and hard of hearing people that cant hear of the emergency sirens outside of New York .. Chelsea U have to think twice what happens if there is a earthquake in CA and i am sure that Mayor of Los Angles or Governor of CA will have the interpreter to alert all of the deaf and hard of hearing people in CA.. Where is ur respect and u better start to give ur show for ur apology to them..

    • Destiny says:

      Good to ‘hear’ your opinion Clare! 😉 I agree that Chelsea making fun of our interpreter who was relaying important information from the Mayor was bad timing 🙂 Hopefully this situation will help Chelsea realize that we are a proud people who love our language and will stand up when it is being mocked. Mostly I hope that this situation encourages people to learn more about ASL and Deaf culture, ya know? So far it looks like it HAS increased awareness, yippee! 🙂 Thanks for your thoughts, keep them coming! 😉

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  5. Abram says:

    I tend to excuse comedians for their political incorrectness and let them make their jokes as long as they don’t go over the line that divides funny stuff from bigotry. But this time was different. Not only was she way over-the-line, her jokes stemmed from pure ignorance. Her “interpreter” was EXTREMELY offensive and the comparison I drew in my mind was this: What if Chelsea had been talking about black people and their slavery? What if she had a white person spray painted black come out on stage with her, and mimic picking her cotton fields? Would ANYONE (besides a bigoted racist) think that was funny?!?

    • Abram says:

      I applaud this letter and the opportunity this is to educate people about a cultural minority trying to escape oppression.

      • Destiny says:

        Abram, I feel the same way; comedians push the line, yes, but she went way too far. Was it really that funny? Was it worth the laughs? No, it simply showed her ignorance and disdain for a culture and language that has experienced more than its fair share of oppression and mockery. Thank you for sharing your opinion!

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  7. Liz says:

    Thank you for taking a stand!! I completely support you!

    • Destiny says:

      Thank you Liz! Thanks for commenting! What is your opinion; is this a matter that is drawing too much attention from the media? What do you think is the best way to respond to this kind of issue?

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