The National Deaf Children’s Society, an international charity organization based out of the United Kingdom, spoke out against Paramount Pictures’ release of “A Quiet Place Part II” after it was reported that only 41 percent of cinemas in the UK offered subtitled screenings of the horror sequel during opening weekend. Of the subtitled screenings offered to accommodate deaf moviegoers, around 50 percent were before 6pm and only a handful were available on weekend dates.
“Deaf people are just as entitled to enjoy the thrill of the cinema as hearing people, but they’re still not being provided for,” National Deaf Children’s Society campaign lead Beccy Forrow told Metro. “Half of cinemas didn’t provide any subtitled showings and those that did were unwilling to offer them at convenient times. It’s a sad yet familiar story for millions of deaf people across the UK, where subtitles are now a holy grail instead of something they can rely on.”
Forrow continued, “Cinemas have no doubt struggled during the pandemic, but increasing the number of subtitled showings could actually attract a brand new group of customers. There are millions of deaf cinema fans out there, so it’s time that the industry started offering the same big screen experience to everyone.”
The National Deaf Children’s Society pointed out that not more-widely offering subtitled screenings of “A Quiet Place Part II” felt particularly bothersome because the franchise stars deaf actress Millicent Simmonds. The “A Quiet Place” franchise is one of the only major studio tentpoles to showcase a deaf actor in a prominent lead role, making it unfortunate that deaf-friendly screenings of the film were not widely accessible.
Several deaf moviegoers spoke to Metro and expressed frustration over “A Quiet Place Part II” not being widely accessible to them. “‘A Quiet Place’ was the first movie I ever watched that has made me proud to be deaf,” 15-year-old Kara Gillespie said. “The second one was fantastic too, but I was really disappointed and frustrated when it didn’t have subtitles. It’s incredibly important that deaf people are shown to the world in movies and by doing so, deafness will be more normalized. To enjoy this film though, lots of deaf people like me will need subtitles.”
A spokesperson for Cinema UK told Metro the lower number of subtitled screenings were a result of the pandemic, adding, “The reality is that building back to where we were on such shows and remaining economically viable will take some time. Before the Covid pandemic hit in early 2020, on average there were around 1,500 subtitled screenings per week across the country.” According to Cinema UK, there will be 500 subtitled screenings of “A Quiet Place II” over the film’s first two weeks of release.
“A Quiet Place II” is now playing in theaters.