This Morning slammed over 'unacceptable' deaf awareness clip

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This Morning is facing a fierce backlash after a clip of Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield marking Deaf Awareness Week didn’t feature an interpreter or subtitles.

The presenters began Tuesday’s show with some sign language in acknowledgment of the annual hearing loss week, which seeks to put a spotlight on inclusivity and being more deaf-friendly.

However, viewers were left raging that there wasn’t an interpreter involved with the episode and that there were no captions on the video, which was shared online, to help deaf people understand the rest of the segment.

‘Welcome to your Tuesday This Morning,’ Holly said shortly after signing. ‘We started today’s programme by signing “hello good morning” and that’s because it’s Deaf Awareness Week.’

Phil added: ‘Across all of the daytime shows, we are raising awareness of hearing loss, which affects one in six adults in the UK.’

‘Well this year’s theme is coming through it together and aims to highlight the importance of improving the quality of services for the deaf community,’ Holly continued.

Many audiences criticised the segment, however, and blasted the move as ‘performative’.

‘Please tell me you can see the irony in talking about deaf awareness and then not captioning your content so, beyond the first few words (and that’s only if they are BSL users) the very people you’re raising awareness for can’t understand you?’ wrote one.

‘There are no subtitles on this,’ another said. ‘Deaf people are shut out of a clip that is literally about Deaf Awareness week. This is completely unacceptable.’

A third added: ‘Where are the subtitles? What is the purpose of this? Seems performative to me. How’s about you caption your social media content.’

No captions, no interpreter. The absolute state of this.

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry… ironic that it’s #DeafAwarenessWeek & this is NOT accessible at all. Only understood the “hi, good morning” at the start then… what’s next?? So many comments & retweets just shows how annoyed we all are 😑 I’m tired of this. 🤷🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️ #DAW2021

THIS ISN’T SUBTITLED! Please This Morning, I love you but make your videos accessible for the deaf, especially when you are talking about #DeafAwarenessWeek ⚠️

Hi, do you have any idea how ridiculous it is to put this content up and not caption it??? I understood the BSL but what about the rest?! Great promotion of a lack of deaf awareness. Please try harder.

There are no subtitles on this. Deaf people are shut out of a clip that is literally about Deaf Awareness week. This is completely unacceptable.

Deaf Awareness Week started on Tuesday 4 May and will end on Sunday 9 May.

This year, the event aims to raise awareness of ‘acquired deafness’, which refers to people who lose their hearing during their life, rather than being born with hearing loss or deafness. 

Deafness and hearing loss can mean different things to different people. People use various words and terms to describe how they view their own deafness or hearing loss. has contacted This Morning for comment.

This Morning airs weekdays from 10am on ITV.

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