Bionic Woman: The Next Generation

Someone wrote me a note about Bionic Woman, the TV show, that’s coming back this fall. I haven’t taken much of an interest until I received the email about one of the characters. Jamie Sommers has a deaf sister, but the produces filled the role with a hearing actress. In fact, I like the actress and have seen her in many shows. But I’m disappointed that they couldn’t find someone from the deaf actors’ talent pool (don’t know if they even bothered to look).
If this doesn’t sit well with you, go to NBC and let them know how you feel. NBC has posted clips since they have already filmed several episodes. The hearing actress, Mae Whitman, mimics a deaf voice and they use sign-language until there is too much dialogue at which time they switch to speaking and lip-reading.
Can’t believe the part about mimicking the deaf voice.

8 comments

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  1. Oh please! That’s even more of an insult. A hearing actor trying to be a deaf person with a deaf voice! There are plenty of deaf actors who are very talented, and can do as well or even better than Mae Whitman, the hearing actor. Geez!!!
    I will write to NBC about my feelings about this. Thank you for alerting us about this.

    • I_C_Voices on June 18, 2007 at 10:29 am

    Wow! Another NBC slap in the face!
    I wonder if NBC would hire a white actor with blackface to play the part of an African American? Its the same issue!
    NBC, please come into the 21st century, and stop offending your viewers.
    Just my humble opinion…
    abc

    • Julia on June 19, 2007 at 6:14 pm

    Hi. Since you had the wit to use “bionic” in your blog title i would like to ask you to help keep up the awareness of the mis-casting of the hearing actress in the new Bionic Woman series which is coming in september. True, this does not compare to Iraq and Global warming i admit. But if the Deaf community thought there was advancement in casting because Marlee Matlin was in “My Name is Earl” (hysterical i might add) they are mistaken. I want to ask everyone, Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, Hearing, WHATEVER, to keep emailing, writing, and calling NBC to protest. Write articles in your local op-ed sections of your city or town to make all people aware of the insulting and insensitive casting that was done. Thank you.

    • Philip on June 24, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    It certainly is a shame when studios don;t even bother to take the time to see if there is a deaf person to play the role of a deaf person!

    • Beth on June 26, 2007 at 7:52 pm

    FYI they have recast the role of the sister on the show. It will no longer be a deaf character.

  2. Hi, Meryl. Here via Google.
    I think you’re right: I doubt they bothered to look. It’s so annoying when there are so many terrific deaf actors out there.
    Some of the news sources are saying the network told them to make her hearing. Not only have they done that, but they’ve replaced the hearing actress they already had. The new Becca is thinner and more “TV-pretty.”
    So basically, instead of taking the opportunity to have an interesting deaf character, with more to her than just being deaf, they’ve taken away everything that might have made her different from every other teenage girl on TV. :-/

    • Travellar on October 7, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    I guess you guys got what you wanted.
    You ruined it for everyone.

    • Cady on October 11, 2007 at 6:22 pm

    No, NBC ruined it for everyone. They’re the ones doing something messed up here, not the people protesting it.

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