Well known TV Comedian Mark Thomas has put two large posters on the windows of Amazon UK’s London headquarters in protest at the company’s inaccessible content for deaf people.
Website Tech Digest reported that as part of his new show, 100 Acts of Minor Dissent, Mr Thomas put the posters up in support of a petition asking Love Film, now Amazon Prime, to subtitle their content to allow deaf audiences to watch.
The posters, in bold capital letters say: LOVEFiLM HATE DEAF PEOPLE
So far campaigners have failed to draw any response from Amazon about making more of their online content subtitled or specifying which rental DVD’s have subtitles or not. A petition has attracted 14,000 signatures and the company has been written to by MP Sir Malcolm Bruce and Chief executive of Action on Hearing Loss, Paul Breckell. Both of which they ignored.
Reacting to today’s direct action by Mark Thomas, Paul Breckell said: “Hopefully the stunt will prompt Amazon to engage with the deaf community and make a commitment to improve their service – especially as this comes hard on the heels of a 14,000-strong petition calling for better provision of subtitles and the numerous attempts we have made to raise this issue with them.
“Why should deaf and hard of hearing customers of on-demand TV and film providers, like Amazon, miss out on what their hearing peers can easily access? In the USA, Amazon’s on-demand services provide subtitles, so it’s extremely disappointing that they don’t here.
“While we welcome recent moves Amazon have made to indicate whether their DVDs have subtitles, this only scratches the surface. If they stock a DVD that does not have subtitles, this must be immediately clear to customers so that some with hearing loss doesn’t rent a film they cannot watch.”
Update from Tech Digest
An Amazon spokesperson has got in touch and says the following:
“Amazon is committed to ensuring that all our customers can enjoy the full benefits of our products and services. We expect to begin rolling out closed captioned titles on Prime Instant Video movie and TV streaming service this year, and will continue to expand the range of closed captioned movies and TV shows over time. In addition, our DVD product detail pages provide information about the availability of closed captioned titles and subtitles where provided by studios, and we will continue to actively pursue closed captioning from all of our studio partners.”
Social Media reaction
— Paul Breckell (@pbreckell) May 13, 2014
— The Tree House (@treehouseviews) May 13, 2014
— Subtitles lovers (@lovesubtitles) May 13, 2014
— Jen Dodds (@deafpower) May 13, 2014
— Sunny Hundal (@sunny_hundal) May 13, 2014
And Twitter goes crazy in support of the petition
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