You’d Rather Read Those [Captions] Than Hear Me?

Chris Pratt with his hand about to swap the words: No reading those

It was part of Marvel’s new trailer for the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: “What’s UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUPP? Chris Pratt here, with a special look at Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. And… C’mon seriously dude? You’d rather read… those… than… hear… me? Nah, no. No reading those. (Chris swiping away the text.) Those. (Chris swiping away the text again.) (Not captioned: “Listen up, hey, for real, do me a favor, turn up your volume, right now.”) Turn up the volume! (Not captioned: Check out this new clip.)”

Below are some frames from that clip:

6 frames with captions of Chris Pratt saying: “C’mon seriously dude. You’d rather read those than hear me?”

The clip started with cool captions, but after Chris swiped them away, it went on without captions for more than last half of it. It turned out to be insensitive to those who need captions and infuriated the disability community so much that they stormed Marvel’s social media with comments about why captions are important. While it’s understandable that the point of the clip was to listen to sound effects, there was no reason to remove captions. Captions could still go on along with sounds. Captions are more than just adding words – they also include certain sound descriptions. There are over 50 million of deaf and hard of hearing people who rely on captions as well as many millions more for various reasons. So just turning up volume doesn’t help everyone.

While many movies are captioned online and on DVDs, most trailers are not and many movie theaters are inaccessible to those who need captions. There are some movie theaters that force caption users to use bulky goggles or devices in a cup holder, but they are not as effective or user-friendly as open captions that most people prefer.

Captions are universal access to everyone and benefit more than just those who cannot hear. Following are comments of Twitter users on this video clip to prove why captions are important to everyone:

The offensive video was removed after numerous complaints then Chris Pratt personally delivered an apology on Instagram where he used sign language in video and wrote a detailed text below to admit his mistake and agree that captions are important. His apology is greatly appreciated.

I also agree with him that Instagram needs to implement a captioning feature. However, auto captions are not of acceptable quality – captions still need to be created manually or auto captions need at least be cleaned up. I explain how to add good quality captions manually to any video players with a caption feature (or to clean up auto captions). Also, captions and subtitles are not the same thing.

Chris not only owned up to his mistake, but also showed how he cared by using some sign language and encouraging Instagram to incorporate a captioning feature which is quite impressive. However, I wonder why Marvel creative team didn’t bother to publicly apologize to deaf and hard of hearing people for such a stupid idea for the insensitive ad that they came up with in the first place? Were they using Chris in hopes to get off the hook?

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

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