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Jamie Foxx gets called out for “disrespectful” sign language joke

(Photo: Getty Images/NBCU Photo Bank/NBC, Andrew Lipovsky)

Last week, Jamie Foxx appeared on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show to plug his new Fox game show/app commercial Beat Shazam, and to tease the appearance he and Fallon recorded a quick promo to air on NBC that day. In that promo, while Fallon breathlessly rattled off the very exciting things happening on his show that night, Foxx moved his hands and waved his arms in an imitation of a sign language translation of Fallon’s words. Model and Dancing With The Stars contestant Nyle DiMarco—who is also an activist for deaf issues—caught the promo, and he was not happy to see Foxx making fun of sign language:


He later put together a longer statement, denouncing Foxx’s joke and noting that “we simply do not make fun at the expense of other cultures, especially those with a history of being marginalized.” He adds that sign language is “a human right of deaf people” and that their struggle has become “that much harder” now.

This comes from Entertainment Weekly, which adds that NBC has explained that it “aired the promo sparingly” (as if that makes it any better) and that it has also “reached out” to DiMarco.

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