Celebrities

Chris Pratt Apologizes to the Hearing Impaired for “Insensitive” Instagram Joke

It’s no secret that Chris Pratt is a man of God, honor and good intentions.

But when the Guardians of the Galaxy star joked with viewers in an Instagram video that they should  “turn up the volume” rather than rely on subtitles, not everyone was laughing. Many fans criticized Chris of being insensitive to the deaf-community and those who are hearing impaired.

In true Chris Pratt fashion, the 37-year-old actor took things into his own hands. Rather than relying on a PR rep to make a statement on his behalf, or blindly dumping money into a charity for deaf people to make up for his remarks, Chris did something completely inspiring.

He turned back to Instagram—where the discussion initially began, and posted a video apology of himself using American Sign Language (ASL).

Instagram does this thing where it mutes all the videos it shows and forces you to turn on the volume in order to hear them. (maybe because most people are watching those videos at work when they should be working and don’t want to get caught. I know that’s when I do it. 😬) So when I made a video recently with subtitles, and requested that people turn up the volume and not just “read the subtitles” it was so people wouldn’t scroll past the video on mute, thus watching and digesting the information in the video. HOWEVER, I realize now doing so was incredibly insensitive to the many folks out there who depend on subtitles. More than 38 million Americans live with some sort of hearing disability. So I want to apologize. I have people in my life who are hearing-impaired, and the last thing in the world I would want to do is offend them or anybody who suffers from hearing loss or any other disability. So truly from the bottom of my heart I apologize. Thanks for pointing this out to me. In the future I’ll try to be a little less ignorant about it. Now… I know some of you are going to say, “Hey! Chris only apologized because his publicist made him!” Well. That is not the case. As always I control my social media. Nobody else. And I am doing this because I’m actually really sorry. Apologies are powerful. I don’t dole them out Willy-Nilly. This is one of those moments where I screwed up and here’s me begging your pardon. I hope you accept my apology. And on that note. Why doesn’t Instagram have some kind of technology to automatically add subtitles to its videos? Or at least the option. I did a little exploring and it seems lacking in that area. Shouldn’t there be an option for closed captioning or something? I’ve made them lord knows how much money with my videos and pictures. Essentially sharing myself for free. I know they profit. So… GET ON IT INSTAGRAM!!! Put closed captioning on your app. #CCinstaNow

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“Instagram does this thing where it mutes all the videos it shows and forces you to turn on the volume in order to hear them. (maybe because most people are watching those videos at work when they should be working and don’t want to get caught. I know that’s when I do it.),” Chris wrote in the caption.

“So when I made a video recently with subtitles, and requested that people turn up the volume and not just ‘read the subtitles’ it was so people wouldn’t scroll past the video on mute, thus watching and digesting the information in the video,” he continued.

Chris went on to acknowledge that he now realized how “incredibly insensitive” his ignorance was to the more than 38 million Americans who live with some type of hearing disability.

“So I want to apologize. I have people in my life who are hearing-impaired, and the last thing in the world I would want to do is offend them or anybody who suffers from hearing loss or any other disability.”

His apology was genuine, and Chris was persistent in letting people know that no publicist or “boss” made him make the video.

“As always I control my social media. Nobody else. And I am doing this because I’m actually really sorry. Apologies are powerful. I don’t dole them out Willy-Nilly. This is one of those moments where I screwed up and here’s me begging your pardon. I hope you accept my apology.”

Chris ended his post calling on Instagram to develop an option for automatic subtitles, after doing a little bit of “exploring” himself and learning that there are currently no options of that nature.

Kudos to Chris Pratt for taking the time to learn some ASL, and for always putting his relationships and the feelings of others first—regardless of his celebrity status.

Bri Lamm
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Bri is an outgoing introvert with a heart that beats for adventure. She lives to serve the Lord, experience the world, and eat macaroni and cheese in between capturing life’s greatest moments on one of her favorite cameras.

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