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It was a festival of faux pas.
As if Chadwick Boseman’s Best Actor snub wasn’t bad enough, the Academy stepped in it yet again after panning away from a sign language presentation by hearing-impaired star Marlee Matlin.
Matlin, 55, who is the only deaf actress to win an Oscar, was presenting the awards for Best Documentary Short Subject and Best Documentary Feature. However, before the “West Wing” actress could finish her presentation, the camera cut away, leaving the audience with only the interpreter’s narration.
The deaf activist’s appearance marked 34 years since she won the “Best Actress” Oscar for “Children of a Lesser God” at 21, becoming the youngest actress to win that specific accolade.
Suffice it to say, the obtuse decision did not go over well with viewers.
One incensed fan tweeted, “Having #marleematlin presenting at #Oscars is awesome, as great as she is — but showing the nominees while she she is signing so you just hear her translator….BAD DECISION!”
Another suggested that the academy should’ve placed a split screen between Matlin and the nominees.
They wrote, “@TheAcademy You should have split screened or done box in box when #MarleeMatlin was signing about the people nominated. #needswork“
The gaffe dampened an otherwise stellar night for Matlin, who had dazzled red-carpet attendees earlier that night with her black and silver Vivienne Westwood gown.
The oversight follows outrage over late star Chadwick Boseman getting snubbed from receiving the Best Actor award for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” The Oscar was instead awarded to Anthony Hopkins for his role in “My Father,” despite the fact that the 83-year-old thespian wasn’t even at the ceremony.
Hopkins has since given a belated acceptance speech in which he honored Boseman, who died of cancer this past summer at 43.
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