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Chris Pratt took to Instagram today to apologize to his followers who are hard of hearing after offending them with a video entirely in sign language. Here’s what happened: the Guardians of the Galaxy star had “requested that people turn up the volume and not just ‘read the subtitles’” in an Instagram video. Chris said he wrote that so people wouldn’t just scroll past the video on mute.
However, Chris has since realized that by writing this he was discriminating against a large community of people. Today he wrote, “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.” Then he suggested that Instagram should automatically add the option to put subtitles on all of their videos, using #CCInstaNow.
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. (maybe 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. 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. Now… I know some of you are going to say, "Hey! Chris only apologized because his publicist made him!" Well. That is not the case. As always I control my social media. Nobody else. And I am doing this because I'm actually really sorry. Apologies are powerful. I don't dole them out Willy-Nilly. This is one of those moments where I screwed up and here's me begging your pardon. I hope you accept my apology. And on that note. Why doesn't Instagram have some kind of technology to automatically add subtitles to its videos? Or at least the option. 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. #CCinstaNow
A post shared by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on May 4, 2017 at 5:59am PDT
But this isn’t the first time Chris made a public apology. Last month he told Men’s Fitness that Hollywood doesn’t tell stories of the average blue-collar American. As you can guess, he was met with a ton of backlash.
Marie Claire magazine wrote: “Chris is a straight, white male. … Hollywood has an *actual* diversity problem at the moment — both in terms of race and gender. … Maybe it’s time for there to be less stories like Chris Pratt’s, and more stories about … any other marginalized community in this country.”
Chris owned up to his mistake and responded on Twitter by admitting that what he said was actually “pretty stupid.”
That was actually a pretty stupid thing to say. I'll own that. There's a ton of movies about blue collar America. https://t.co/DclYfNsiv3
— chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) April 21, 2017
It’s good to see Chris admitting when he’s wrong. But we definitely agree that Instagram videos need a closed-captioning option.
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