Many know that National Association of the Deaf (NAD) sued Netflix in 2011 for not captioning their streaming videos. Even after starting to caption more online videos after this, Netflix continues to let down deaf and hard of hearing people that make up over 50 million in USA.
Earlier this year NAD had to contact Netflix lawyers again after numerous complaints “from Queer Eyeviewers that the platform’s captioning of the show was omitting swear words that were not bleeped out in the audio track and deleting whole sentences.”
As I explained in my article and video (What a [bleep] – How to Caption Expletives?), all aural information plus non-speech elements need to be fully accessible via text – including profanity that is heard loud and clear.
Now Netflix is making deaf and hard of hearing viewers and others who rely on captions upset again – this time for captioning issues in the She-Ra. Many reported that captions were either not accurate or missing in the movie. Some examples from tweets:
started watching she-ra!! so far, i love it!!
but what’s with these weird approximating subtitles @netflix? they keep skipping bits??
— kelsey michele ✨ (@toughtinkart) November 14, 2018
im used to the occasional missed word in subtitles which i usually chock up to human error but the subs for she-ra are just straight up bad and inaccurate @netflix
— jas hates winter (@silkquake) November 14, 2018
.@netflix SheRa subtitles doesn’t show all that is said! Full dialogue needed so Deaf kids have access to English literacy. Please fix!
— ‿·⪦˒˒ Adrean Clark (@adreanaline) November 16, 2018
.@netflix the subtitles on total drama island are sooo wrong. The line was “i’ll get my hair and nails done” and the subtitles said “I’ll get an eating disorder and my boobs done.”
— DylaN64 (@DylanHelgens) November 16, 2018
Hey @netflix please please fix the subtitles on She-Ra. Up to half of the words are getting cut out of entire scenes, which is way past the point of acceptable simplification
— tired 🦈 (@JustLetMe_Sleep) November 14, 2018
Fix the subtitles on she-ra @netflix they’re inaccurate and annoyingly incorrect
— Machu (@Chocnoc) November 16, 2018
ugh @netflix why are the She-Ra subtitles missing like 10% of the words? and sometimes entire clauses? there’s a lot of detail lost in the transcription. 😾
— Ayla 💞 (@reacocard) November 16, 2018
Watching She-Ra and it’s awesome but the subtitles are way off. Not cool @netflix pic.twitter.com/vN7oMVOAbo
— Lani Palleja-McDannell (@LalasCrochet) November 17, 2018
*Turns on closed captioning to watch she-ra*
1:25 in and the subtitles already don’t match
*Turns off closed captioning*
— Leggy(🍗) my Eggy(🥚) (@twenty_eggs) November 17, 2018
Uuuuugh. I hear the new She-Ra is great, but once again @Netflix has fucked up the subtitles/captions. Stop giving me something CLOSE to what they’re saying, I want the actual words! All of them!!! I’m tired of Netflix fucking this up over and over again!
— Cassie (@Taliabear) November 18, 2018
SHE-RA IS VERY GOOD BUT THE SUBTITLES ARE THE WORST I HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED, WHOEVER DECIDED TO CUT ABOUT 70% OF THE ARTICLES, PRONOUNS, AND VITAL DIALOGUE OUT OF EVERY SINGLE GODDAMN LINE SHOULD BE FUCKING ASHAMED, THIS IS NOT WHAT ACCESSIBILITY LOOKS LIKE @NETFLIX
— manic pixie knife goth (@ligaratus) November 18, 2018
I’m watching She-Ra in english on netflix and the fact that the subtitles don’t match the audio is so upsetting.
— 🦇CasualDeathStare🦇 (@casualbrimstone) November 18, 2018
There are many more examples like this to state how bad captions are on Netflix, but you get the idea. As you noticed, it’s not only deaf and hard of hearing people who are having problems with this, but many others, too, who need captions for various reasons.
DC Deaf Moviegoers suggested everyone to file a complaint to Netflix: “Please report this! You can go to https://www.netflix.com/viewingactivity and click “Report a problem” and pick “Problems with captions or subtitles” and specify the issues (especially with time stamps).”
Netflix needs to get their act together. The organization cannot keep letting down millions of people who rely on captions by offering substandard quality. It’s 2018 and there are many options to make high quality same language captions that improve viewing experience for everyone and even increase profits for businesses.