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Marlee Matlin “Shocked” at Lack of Screen Time for Deaf Performers During CBS’ Super Bowl Pregame Show

Marlee Matlin sent a strong message about her displeasure at CBS’ coverage of the Super Bowl LVIII pregame show on Sunday.

“I am absolutely SHOCKED at @CBS for introducing the Deaf performers at today’s pregame #SuperBowl and then not showing even one second (or more) of their performance… as has been tradition for the last 30 years. WHY!?” she posted on X (formerly Twitter).

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The Oscar-winning actress was referring to the trio of pregame performances by Post Malone, who sang “America the Beautiful”Andra Day, who performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing”; and Reba McEntire, who performed the national anthem.

Shaheem Sanchez performs prior to Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium on February 11, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Shaheem Sanchez

The pregame performances also featured American Sign Language performances. On behalf of the National Association of the Deaf, actor-choreographer Shaheem Sanchez performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing” in ASL; actress, model and dancer Anjel Piñero performed “America the Beautiful” in ASL; and CODA actor Daniel Durant signed the national anthem.

(L-R) Reba McEntire and Daniel Durant attend the Super Bowl LVIII Pregame at Allegiant Stadium on February 11, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada
Reba McEntire and Daniel Durant

Matlin was seemingly commenting on the fact that the only part of the ASL performances that was shown during the live broadcast was a brief cut to Sanchez during “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” (Sanchez was introduced on the air ahead of the performance and is also set to perform the ASL rendition of the halftime show featuring Usher.) Piñero’s and Durant’s performances were not shown.

CBS Sports does have a dedicated landing page on its website, where it aired a special live stream of Sunday’s ASL performers during the preshow, and posted about that on X. It also plans to do the same with Usher’s halftime show. A source told The Hollywood Reporter that this strategy is in line with pregame coverage in years past.

(The rights to the Super Bowl broadcast rotate among Fox, NBC and CBS every three years.)

Matlin herself is no stranger to the Super Bowl, having performed the national anthem alongside Garth Brooks at Super Bowl XXVII in 1993.

Country music star Garth Brooks sings the National Anthem with American sigh language translation preformed by actress Marlee Matlin prior to Super Bowl XXVII between the Dallas Cowboys and the Buffalo Bills at the Rose Bowl on January 31, 1993 in Pasadena, California. The Cowboys defeated the Bills 52-17.
Marlee Matlin and Garth Brooks perform during the national anthem during the Super Bowl XXVII pregame in 1993

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