Tons of records were smashed by Marvel's new Black Panther film over the past weekend, but unfortunately, not everyone was able to enjoy it equally. Dancing with the Stars and America's Next Top Model star Nyle DiMarco — who just so happens to be deaf — shared his frustration with fans on Twitter after a simple attempt to see the film ended up being an infuriating fiasco.
RT if you prefer open captioning instead of this pic.twitter.com/Tdql6x5FAk— Nyle DiMarco (@NyleDiMarco) February 18, 2018
"RT if you prefer open captioning instead of this," he began, alongside a photo of CaptiView device blocking the screen. For those not familiar, a CaptiView can be requested by hearing-impaired viewers at some theaters. It attaches to the cupholder of a seat, and has a bendy arm holding up a small screen that shows synced captions for a film. While it may sound like a good idea in theory, the device requires viewers to keep switching focus from the machine to the screen, and doesn't exactly make for a great viewing experience. As a matter of fact, it sounds downright horrible.
"Update: 10 mins into Black Panther, I had to leave," continued Nyle. "It was awful. Kept skipping lines. The difference of focus while switching gave me a headache, and I kept missing important scenes. AMC Theaters made me feel SO disabled. Bring back open captioning and f--k you. I’m really disappointed. This is exactly why I don’t ever go to movie theaters. Theaters are basically for all the able-bodied people."
While Nyle received a tidal wave of support and gratitude, some people are apparently a-okay with theaters excluding deaf guests from having a good experience. "If you are deaf or blind it seems movies aren't for you and you should probably pursue other hobbies," said a hater, which Nyle screenshotted and posted. "What we deal with every day," he said. The idea that able-bodied people would be so bothered by such a minor difference that includes everyone is appalling, but it also doesn't make financial sense for theaters to offer CaptiViews over on-screen open captions, as Nyle pointed out.
"It is A LOT cheaper to have open captioning because the clunky device costs $1,500-$3000," he explained. "Spending more $$$ to make people feel even more disabled, I’ll never understand that logic." Even after a complaint, AMC Theaters did basically less than nothing to rectify the situation. "@AMCTheatres couldn’t refund me so they gave me two free tickets instead. So I guess I’ll go and feel disabled again," he said. Major props to Nyle for raising awareness for such an important issue of inclusion. We hope theaters start to pay attention!