The state of Deaf representation in media and entertainment

In February, CODA became the first movie featuring a predominantly Deaf cast to win an Academy Award for Best Picture. It was a big step forward for Deaf representation in Hollywood. But it was also a reminder of how much progress needs to be made.

What’s at stake? A lot. 31% of consumers say that they “never” or “almost never” come into contact with Deaf people. So it makes sense that 76% of Deaf people believe that the way their community is portrayed in fiction influences how they’re perceived in the real world.

NRG’s new report, Spotlight On: Deaf Representation, examines the current state of Deaf representation in media and entertainment – and what needs to be done to truly reflect the diversity of Deaf experiences. A few key findings:

63% of Deaf people agree that “Hollywood perpetuates negative stereotypes about Deaf and hard of hearing people.”

In the United States, hearing consumers are over twice as likely to have seen media featuring white Deaf people as they are to have seen media featuring Deaf people of color. And only 6% of hearing viewers have ever seen a Deaf LGBTQ+ person portrayed in scripted TV shows or movies.

Only 37% of hearing parents and 47% of Deaf parents have watched a kids’ TV show or movie with their child that featured a Deaf character.

More details and NRG’s research on Deaf representation: