Marlee Matlin Celebrates Deaf Culture as CODA Wins Outstanding Film Cast at 2022 SAG Awards

CODA just received a huge honor.

On Sunday night, the AppleTV+ film won Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture at the 28th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. The film beat out the other nominees Belfast, Don’t Look Up, House of Gucci and King Richard.

CODA is a coming-of-age drama about a high school girl who aspires to be a singer and is the only hearing member of her deaf family. It stars Emilia Jones, Marlee Matlin, Troy Kotsur, Daniel Durant and Eugenio Derbez.

Matlin, 56, accepted the award on behalf of the film, telling the audience, “I’m stunned, I’m stunned.”

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“We have to thank SAG-AFTRA, you guys voted for us. We want to thank AppleTV+ for trusting us, for believing in us [and] our film”, she declared, before thanking the producers, the director, the scriptwriters and the interpreters who contributed to the project.


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“Thank you for writing the words and including deaf culture, we love you,” she continued. “The interpreters, thank you to all CODA performers and all CODAs everywhere, everywhere. My children, all four are CODAs.”

RELATED: Troy Kotsur Is Overwhelmed With Emotion As He Makes History As The First Deaf Male Actor To Win A SAG Award

“And look, you’re all our peers,” she continued, referring to the stars in the audience. “We deaf actors have come a long way. [For] 35 years, I’ve seen so much work there and in all that time I’ve watched all of your movies and I give you all the deepest respect.”

“Is Meryl Streep there?” Matlin asked as she searched the crowd for the actress, whose film Don’t look up was also nominated in this category. Once she spotted Streep, Matlin told her, “Oh my god, I love you!”

Concluding his speech, Matlin proudly told the audience, “It confirms the fact that we deaf actors can work like anyone else.”

“We look forward to more opportunities for deaf actors [and] deaf culture. Thank you. We love you,” she said, before showing everyone how to say “I love you” in sign language.

RELATED VIDEO: CODA Star Amelia Jones Says She Trained 9 Months in Sign Language and Singing

It wasn’t the only prize CODA won on Sunday. Earlier in the evening Kotsur, 53, made history when he was named Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role. The win made him the first deaf male actor to win a solo SAG Award.

Ahead of the awards, Derbez recently told PEOPLE, “Look, I’ve been dreaming of the Oscars, and at least being part of the Oscars in some way, for so many years that I want to have high expectations. Of course, I think this film has a lot of potential because it’s inclusive, it’s interesting. It’s a new story. You’ve never heard of these kinds of stories.

“He’s got it all. He’s got comedy, he’s got heart, he’s got drama. He’s got it all,” he added. “So I think it’s perfect for awards season. But I don’t want to think about it too much.”

The 28th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards was broadcast live on TNT and TBS.

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