Deaf actress Marlee Matlin slammed CBS Sunday night after the television network reportedly failed to show footage of the three deaf performers that were part of the Super Bowl 2024 pre-game show.
“I am absolutely SHOCKED at CBS for introducing the deaf performers at today’s Super Bowl and then not showing even one second (or more) of their performance … as has been tradition for the last 30 years,” Matlin, 58, wrote on X (formerly Twitter).
“WHY,” added Matlin, who served as the ASL interpreter for Garth Brooks when he performed the national anthem at the 1993 Super Bowl.
The Super Bowl pre-show, which aired in the run-up to the game’s 6:30 p.m. kickoff time, featured three performances from Grammy winner Andra Day, who sang a moving rendition of, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” as well as Post Malone, whose folksy rendition of “America the Beautiful” left the audience divided.
Anjel Piñero, who performed alongside Malone, was also only seen for about five seconds during the introduction of the act.
Shaheem Sanchez — who accompanied Day, 39, during her rousing performance — also helped translate Usher’s star-studded halftime performance but got zero screen time.
Earlier in the day, CBS Sports posted a link on X that was reportedly meant to be the ASL broadcast of the pre-game show, however, the link attached did not have a landing site.
The Post reached out to CBS for comment.
Several of Matlin’s fans were also quick to voice their displeasure.
“My wife and I had the exact same thought,” one fan wrote.
“Thank you for pointing this out,” wrote a second person. “As a non-deaf person, I didn’t give it a second thought. It would have been so easy to include the deaf performers and have them on part of the screen.”
“Wholeheartedly agree–@CBS you have the technology. USE IT to uphold your “company values” as an inclusive organization or is that just on paper? Because how hard is it to present the ASL interpreters on screen,” a third person seethed.
This is not the first time that Matlin has been the center of controversy surrounding an ASL performance.
In 2021, the Academy Awards came under fire after they cut away from Matlin, who was handing out the award for Best Documentary Short Subject and Best Documentary Feature, while the Oscar winner was still in mid-presentation and leaving the audience with only the interpreter’s narration.
“Having #marleematlin presenting at #Oscars is awesome, as great as she is — but showing the nominees while she is signing so you just hear her translator….BAD DECISION,” one viewer tweeted at the time.