2019 Oscars Recap; “A Quiet Place” Sequel; Jessica Chastain Says “Shape of Water” Has Minimal Dialogue Because of Mute Character; South Carolina Woman Mauled By Her Dogs; Top News Briefs: Amazon Plane Crash; Robert Kraft Charged; R. Kelly Pleads Not Guilty; Wisconsin State Rep. Jonathan Brostoff Hailed As Wonderful Ally For Refusing to Cut Hair Until Sign Language Interpreting Bill Passes
2019 Oscars Recap
Here is a recap of last night’s Academy Awards (Oscars).
“Green Book” won three Oscars including best picture and best supporting actor in Mahershala Ali.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” won four Oscars, including best actor for Rami Malek.
“Roma” won three Oscars, including best director for Alfonso Cuaron. The movie is unique because it was released on Netflix.
Olivia Colman won best actress for her role on “The Favourite.”
Regina King won best supporting actress for her role on “If Beale Street Could Talk.”
Spike Lee won the best adapted screenplay Oscar for “BlacKkKlansman.” It was the first time Spike Lee won an Oscar.
In his speech, he honored his ancestors who were enslaved and native people who went through genocide. He told the audience to make the right, moral choice in the 2020 presidential election.
President Trump replied on Twitter that it was a racist hit and that he has done more for African Americans than almost any other president.
Spike Lee also got attention for almost walking out of the audience when “Green Book” won.
The Oscars awards did not have any host, their first time in 30 years, after Kevin Hart backed out after he was criticized for homophobic statements he posted on social media years ago.
“A Quiet Place” Sequel
“A Quiet Place,” which was nominated for sound editing during last night’s Oscars, did not win. That award went to “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
“A Quiet Place” director John Krasinski announced on Instagram two days ago that its sequel will be released May 15, 2020.
The Hollywood Reporter reported that Deaf actress Millicent Simmonds is in talks with Paramount in a possible return to the sequel.
Jessica Chastain Says “Shape of Water” Has Minimal Dialogue Because of Mute Character
Actress Jessica Chastain was criticized by several people on Twitter for saying the movie “Shape of Water” had minimal dialogue because the lead female actor was mute.
In the movie, Sally Hawkins, who is hearing, acts like a hearing woman who can hear but uses sign language to speak. She doesn’t use her voice, but signs.
Chastain brought this movie up because she shared a tweet by someone else who made a graph chart of previous best picture winners in the past. The chart compared how many lines of dialogue were spoken by male actors versus female actors. This chart showed that men had the overwhelming majority.
This chart did not include “Shape of Water,” which won last year. Chastain said it wasn’t included because because of minimal dialogue.
A person on Twitter, @elbirdilara, questioned how the film had minimal dialogue because the lead character talked throughout the film.
Chastain replied, “Have you seen the film? She’s mute”
@Elbirdilara replied by saying sign language is a language.
The two continued discussing with @Elbirdilara saying she would get a script to show how much dialogue Hawkins’ character had. She was okay with it, and their conversation ended.
There was a similar discussion last year with the movie, “A Quiet Place.” There were many film reviewers who said the movie had very little dialogue, but there were many who said this was not true — because there was dialogue throughout the film in sign language. But they didn’t count this as dialogue.
This was last year and it seems like it’s come up again.
This shows that Hollywood still has a perception problem on if sign language counts as dialogue.
South Carolina Woman Mauled By Her Dogs
A woman from Greenville, South Carolina died after her two dogs attacked her in her home’s front yard.
Her name was Nancy Cheryl Burgess-Dismuke (52). The dogs were described to the Greenville News as “boxer mixes.”
A neighbor said she would often play with her dogs and allow the dogs to bite her arms, but that this time, the dogs started to eat her alive. The neighbor said the woman had one arm bit completely off, with the other arm almost ripped off.
Neighbors said they got an ax and a car part and struck the dogs. When the dogs let go, the woman ran and threw her body over the fence.
Police said they applied tourniquets to her arm to stop the bleeding and that an ambulance took her to a hospital, but she died from loss of blood and extremely severe dog bites.
A county official said the dogs will be euthanized this Friday.
Top News Briefs: Amazon Plane Crash; Robert Kraft Charged; R. Kelly Pleads Not Guilty
Here are three top news briefs.
The first — an Amazon cargo plane crashed into a bay in Houston, Texas as it was ready to land at an airport but crashed. Three crew members died. Debris were strewn for about a mile in the bay. This was on Saturday. There is an investigation on what happened.
The second news — Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, was today officially charged with first degree solicitation of a prostitute in Florida. Police were on a statewide effort to bust sex traffickers and said they have video evidence of Kraft’s crime. He faces up to a year in jail if convicted. He also faces discipline from the NFL.
The third news — R. Kelly pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. His bond was set at $1 million on Saturday, and Kelly hasn’t been able to come up with $100,000 to bail himself out, so he was still in custody. His attorney said his finances are a mess.
Wisconsin State Rep. Jonathan Brostoff Hailed As Wonderful Ally For Refusing to Cut Hair Until Sign Language Interpreting Bill Passes
Wisconsin State Representative Jonathan Brostoff (D) is refusing to cut his hair. He is allowing it to grow until a bill that would improve sign language interpreting in the state passes. He is refusing to cut his hair until it passes.
The Wisconsin Association of the Deaf considers him a wonderful ally.
I will show you an interview with Rep. Brostoff and the President of the Wisconsin Association of the Deaf, Katy Schmidt.
Convo provided us with an interpreter. Here it is.
Schmidt: I’m Katy Schmidt. I’m the president of the Wisconsin Association of the Deaf here in Wisconsin.
Rep. Brostoff: I’m State Representative Jonathan Brostoff. I represent the 19th District here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Interpreter: I’m Ralph Blank, interpreter with Convo Communications.
[Text: In 2017, Rep. Brostoff introduced AB 589 which would transform the Wisconsin sign language interpreting licensure requirements. It aimed to establish a Sign Language Interpreters Examining Board to grant interpreting licenses that includes both deaf and hearing interpreters.
This board would also have investigative and enforcement powers with the ability to impose thousands of dollars in fines.
It did not make it out of committee, but Brostoff and WAD aims to be successful this year in turning the bill into law.]
Alex: Katy, as the WAD President, what are your perspectives on his actions? What was the Deaf community’s reaction?
Schmidt: Yes, the community loves him because he truly shows what an ally is. He has been involved in our community for the last 4-5 years. He’s visited our events, supported our issues, met one-on-one with deaf constituents, in groups, and attended our state conference, and went to the NAD convention last summer. He’s very involved with the Deaf community. The fact that he’s growing his hair, it’s really touched the Deaf community. Truly.
Alex: Wow. Rep. Brostoff, can you explain the bill and why you feel it is important that it becomes law? And can you explain why it didn’t make it out of committee last year?
Rep. Brostoff: Sure, definitely. Going back to the first question, I’ve seen some advancement for the Deaf community here in Wisconsin. I’ve seen some work earlier. I’ve been here for ten years. There’s some progress, but there are major changes needed for accountability and to protect the Deaf community with regards with interpreting. There are some unqualified interpreters. We also want better standards for sign language interpreters here with applications towards legal, medical, employment-related issues, access to the workforce, generally speaking. I’m very happy to work on this. The Wisconsin Deaf community is a little different from other communities that have political power — organizations such as the Tavern League of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Manufacturers Corporation, the NRA, or other organizations — it is not the same. What this means is my collaborators such as Katy, those who are members and stakeholders in the community, have to build Deaf power here in Wisconsin so others can look at us and react. So we can command attention and demand political power. We are finally organized through events such as trainings, spending time attending legislative days. This is a little history. So, why did the bill not pass it out of committee last year? It’s because of the committee chair, Senator Kapenga. He was not friendly towards the bill. He was the chair of the committee I was in. He blocked it from advancing. Now it’s changed to Senator T(unclear). He is a leader in the state senate. I’m working with him to make sure it passes the senate. You know, there is an assembly and the senate. The assembly is our state “house” and they were in full support of it. It had unanimous support from Republicans and Democrats. In the senate, we had a tally of votes who was in favor it, but we were blocked by the committee. But now we have made progress with media attention and we have friends in both parties, so we are very optimistic it can succeed.
Alex: You feel positive.
Alex: This is for the president, can you explain how this bill would benefit the Deaf community? I did read the bill, it has teeth with the ability to impose $10,000 in fines if someone interprets without a license. That was exceptional. I saw other areas that included deaf interpreters. How will this bill benefit the Deaf community?
Schmidt: Yes. This bill has three areas. The first will provide Deaf interpreters with more work opportunities. It recognizes deaf interpreters and Certified Deaf Interpreters. It has mentoring for deaf interpreters if they want to become certified. Hearing interpreters will have limitations on where they can work. New ITP graduates can’t just work anywhere. We will restrict new graduates from working in medical, legal, or mental health scenarios. The restrictions are based on experience — the more they have, the more they can interpret in high-risk environments. The third one is establishing the SLIEB, the Sign Language Interpreting Examining Board. It will have both Deaf and hearing committee members that will monitor the interpreting profession as a whole. It will make sure interpreters follow the rules established in law. At the same time we will follow trends in the deaf and interpreting community. If there are new tests, new programs, we can adjust things so we follow along with it. We want to keep up with what’s happening around us. Those are the three areas.
Alex: This seems very unique. I don’t see other states that have this kind of bill? Do you think you are the first?
Schmidt: Yes, I think this is one of the most comprehensive bills. Some state have a certification approach, some states have smaller approaches, but I think this is the most comprehensive approach.
Alex: Now, Rep. Brostoff, what do you envision? Do you have any timeline on when you will introduce the bill? What do you want to happen?
Rep. Brostoff: Sure. I visualize this will happen after the first budget. This will be introduced in the next or two weeks, by the last week of the month for sure. When this is finished, we’ll move fast. But here in Wisconsin the process after we introduce it, we will get support from co-sponsors. After this we hope it will go in committees so both the senate and the assembly can debate it and pass it. After this, there is an executive conference in their committee and if it is voted through, it will go to the floor for a full vote with all 99 members of the assembly and 33 senators. When that passes, it goes to the governor’s desk. I’ve had a conversation with the governor who expressed his full support for it. So what this means is I want to be sure it reaches his desk. I feel this will happen fast, but we have to wait for the budget to be completed first.
Alex: If it passes with the governor’s signature, who will you give the honor of cutting your hair? The WAD?
Rep. Brostoff: I’ll give her the chance to cut my hair and maybe call some community members and host a party and allow several to shave it in turns. It’s been a long time and it is how you celebrate and have fun. That is our gold at the end of the rainbow. You know, many people are sick of seeing my thick hair. They want it off for an aerodynamic look.
Alex: I get it. Thank you both so much for your time. I really appreciate it. Good luck with the bill and keep your hair fresh.
Alex: You have the most famous head in legislature.
Schmidt: Yes. I’ve met with many legislators a couple weeks ago who said they didn’t understand his hair and when they about it, they were touched by his explantation. It’s touched many legislators that he is for real.
Alex: It’s advocacy without saying a single word. It’s constant. Powerful and smart strategy.
Schmidt: Set by example.
Alex: Thank you for your time. Good luck with the bill in the next few months.
Brostoff learned sign language when he worked with two other deaf people several years ago when they were interns under former Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, who can sign and has a deaf brother.
That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light!
Gallaudet University: [gallaudet.edu]