CBS “The Stand” casts hearing person for deaf role

CBS All Access announced the four lead characters for their new TV series, “The Stand,” and one of them will be a hearing actor playing a deaf role.

Actor Henry Zaga will have the role of a deaf man, Nick Andros. Variety described the role as a “deaf and mute man.”

Marlee Matlin tweeted at Variety that the terms “deaf and mute” is offensive.

[Tweet @MarleeMatlin: “I realize @StephenKing “The Stand” was written years ago and the deaf character cannot speak. But “deaf mute” or “deaf and mute” is offensive. What was my Oscar breakthrough all about if we don’t refrain from using it? Thank you. @Variety"]

Nyle DiMarco tweeted that he posted a comment on Henry Zaga’s Instagram explaining the situation with a request for him to reconsider (his role), but that he deleted his comment. Nyle appeared to post another comment and as of this afternoon it was still there.

The California Association of the Deaf Media said they are disappointed and have been in touch with the appropriate CBS officials and are hopeful that this situation will be resolved.

The show is based on Stephen King’s book with the same title. It will be on CBS All Access, an over-the-top subscription streaming service.

There was a “The Stand” TV miniseries in 1994. Actor Rob Lowe played the deaf character of Nick Andros.

Text: Several other Deaf people in the entertainment industry also spoke up on Twitter.

@LaurenRidloff: “Marvel cast a deaf woman of color (me!) to portray a character that was originally the opposite. A Quiet Place is a cult hit because of its casting and honesty. The novel The Stand stands out because of the diverse characters. It’s time to look and listen.”

@ItsJoshFeldman: “Over 95 percent of disabled characters are portrayed by able bodied actors. @CBS continues the trend by casting a hearing actor in a deaf role.”

@DickieHearts: “If @MarvelStudios is casting IRL Deaf actor @LaurenRidloff as a Deaf superhero in Eternals, why can’t @CBSAllAccess @CBSEntDiversity cast a IRL Deaf actor as Nick Andros in @StephenKing #TheStand? #Authenticity #DeafTalent"