I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I was spending some quality time with the boob tube yesterday when I happened upon an episode of Cold Case (reruns) called Andy in C Minor dealing with the murder of a Deaf high school student at a Deaf School. In large part I was impressed because the actors who portrayed the Deaf were Deaf. I won’t get into the issue of how there always seems to need to be a Deaf/Hearing romance (sigh) since most Deaf/Hearing relationships end up as train wrecks. I was pretty much okay with this until the cops start interviewing people without the benefit of a professional Interpreter.
Not okay. Not even a little bit! Not to mention trying to use a school administrator as an interpreter while she was also one of the suspects. What the hell was going on there? And then there was the “they can read your lips” as if these are miracle Deaf people – parents and students – who can understand any word at any angle. By the time the episode was over I was hammering the Internet to find out when it had been taped. It’s old – 2008.
For all the good parts – for all it attempted to portray the issues facing the Deaf Community, the conflict over CI’s and how a person can end up not Deaf and not Hearing, for all the fact the actors were Deaf and believable – the ultimate flaw of not providing a certified legal interpreter in a murder investigation of all things, sent me right over the edge. If it were a new show I’d probably write a letter to the producer and ask him to produce something showing a Deaf suspect being abused and railroaded – however, that would not jibe with the cast’s “good cops” image.
I’m glad I fell over it by accident, though. I wonder what else is out there, misinforming the American public about the Deaf and Hard of Hearing who use ASL.