Barbie With ASL Is a Masterpiece in Its Own Right. Meet the Deaf Performer Who Signs It. | Popsugar

Leila Hanaumi is Barbie. And Ken. And, well, every character in the ASL version of the Golden Globe-award-winning “Barbie” movie. The sign language performer signs for every cast member who speaks or sings in the film “Barbie With ASL,” a feat deserving of its own Golden Globe.

“Barbie With ASL” was, perhaps, destined to garner attention. While text captions are an option on most streaming platforms, it’s rare that a major motion picture is offered in ASL — which is unfortunate, since ASL provides a more holistic experience for deaf viewers, offering more context, emotion, and tone. In fact, this is the first Warner Bros. movie that has an ASL option.

And at the helm of this milestone, Hanaumi became a star in her own right, garnering powerful real-time reactions on social media from deaf viewers impacted by her work. “Representation is that sigh of breath when you feel seen,” Hanaumi tells POPSUGAR. And it appears the deaf community are exhaling in droves, thanks to “Barbie With ASL” and, more specifically, Hanaumi’s interpretation.

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