‘CODA’ Cast Talk Representation in Hollywood as Bay Area Deaf Community Reacts to Oscar Nominations

LOS GATOS, Calif. (KGO) — The Oscar nominations are out — and a Los Gatos-based Netflix movie is leading the way. The Western revisionist, “The Power of the Dog,” received the most nominations with 12, including Best Picture, Best Director and Benedict Cumberbatch in the Best Actor category.

The other nine Best Picture nominees include ‘Belfast’, ‘CODA’, ‘Don’t Look Up’, ‘Drive My Car’, ‘Dune’, ‘King Richard’, ‘Licorice Pizza’, ‘Nightmare Alley’. . and “West Side Story”.

“CODA”, which is the acronym for Child of a Deaf Adult, is generating excitement in the deaf and hard of hearing community.

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Not only was he nominated for Best Picture, but he also made history as one of the actors was up for Best Supporting Actor, making him the first deaf man to be nominated for an Oscar.

The film follows the life of a family of four, the father, mother and son are deaf.

The girl is CODA, or child of a deaf adult.

VIDEO: Troy Kotsur Makes History As 2nd Deaf Actor Nominated For Oscar: ‘I Feel A Little Lighter’

The film is the first with a mostly deaf cast to be nominated for Best Picture.

“It’s really important to show hearing people what it’s like to be a fly on the wall and to immerse themselves in deaf culture,” said Troy Kotsur, who plays the father in the film and is the first Oscar-nominated deaf man in a supporting role.

Kotsur spoke with ABC News about the honor.

“It’s such a blessing that Hollywood is beginning to recognize Deaf talent and increase Deaf awareness,” he said. “I hope it changes their perspective, rather than looking at deaf people as bad guys or people to be sympathetic to. It’s a culture and a language. We have our own language, and we have our own culture.

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This sentiment is shared by many right here in the Bay Area deaf community.

“I have two children of my own, two boys who are both CODA, who live in my home and they live with me and our culture,” said Clark Brooke, site superintendent at Fremont’s California School for the Deaf.

Brooke’s interpreter, Jacelia Washington, is also a child of a deaf adult and spoke about what the film was about.

“There’s not a lot of CODA representation,” Washington said, “We’re kind of like in the middle of two worlds and sometimes it can be hard to figure out, ‘Where do I belong?'”

VIDEO: ‘I’m stunned:’ ‘Belfast’ star Ciarán Hinds on his Oscar nomination

Brooke says one of the many important and inspiring things about the film is that he didn’t hear people playing deaf characters.

“I think Hollywood is doing it right this time and has been for a few years,” he said. “We’ve seen an increase in Deaf characters, and I think it’s important for our kids to look up role models and see that, ‘Hey, I can make it in this industry.'”

Remember, you can only watch the Oscars on ABC on Sunday, March 27.

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