“This has been happening for decades; enough is enough,” reads a statement boycotting the CBS adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand, which is circulating on social media with the hashtag #StandAgainstTheStand.
The letter, titled “Taking a Stand Against the Stand,” states that the casting of hearing actor Henry Zaga to play character Nick Andros, who is deaf, is “not acceptable.”
“We will not endorse, watch, or support your miniseries,” the statement continues. “We will share our displeasure of the casting decision and airing of the miniseries on CBS All Access with our Deaf community, signing community, friends, and family of Deaf individuals; together we make up 466 million worldwide.”
According to the protest letter, which was shared on Twitter by filmmaker and TV writer Jade Bryan, “not one Deaf professional actor was called in to audition for the role. The casting decision shows a massive lack of respect for Deaf professionals, and the letter states there was “no acknowledgement given to the psyche of a Deaf character,” as being deaf is “more than just not hearing.”
“This is not the ’90s,” Jade said in a separate statement to People. “Deaf artists are thriving. There are a large pool of Deaf actors who are qualified enough to play the character Nick Andros.”
Jade wrote that the network failed these talented actors “because there was no casting notice which afforded them the opportunity to audition and showcase their talent for the role.”