11: Here We Go Again!
Posted by ridor9th on August 29, 2008
Thousands of Deaf people tuned in last Tuesday night to watch the premiere of fourth season on Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency mainly because they wanted to root for Martin ‘Marty’ Ritchie. Not only that, there were encores of that show repeatedly all night long on Oxygen Channel and twice the next day.
Naturally, many of us were concerned about the legitimacy and fairness when it comes to reality shows which often squared the residents against each other — look at Amazing Race, Survivor, America’s Next Top Model and so on … competition can be so brutal, especially in the field of reality shows.
Needless to say, I hoped that Marty had the qualified one to interpret for him throughout the series on Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency. The guy who was interpreting for Marty is not qualified. He is not even certified to interpret! The only credential that he knew American Sign Language is because his mother is Deaf. That’s it.
That so-called interpreter’s name is Jerry Ferris — the same guy who competed on the third season of The Bachelorette — in that show, Jerry was one of two finalists vying for a girls’ hand in marriage. Jerry was the one who acted as the policeman that interpreted for the dectectives on CSI: NY along with Deaf actor, Russell Harvard not a long time ago! Jerry Ferris did make a brief appearance on The Real World: Back to New York.
It is evident that the Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency hired Jerry not based on his qualifications but on his looks. A certain friend of mine from Los Angeles muttered to me last night, “Jerry Ferris tends to brownnose Hollywood industry, using his looks to get his god-damned 15 minutes of fame! Did you notice that Martin seems to be bit lost at times? It is obvious that Jerry is trying to get himself on the show, using Martin to advance his career!”
I nodded. I also told my friend that I noticed one scene where Janice asked if it is OK to use the term ‘Deaf’ without offending Martin at all? Before Martin could respond anything, Jerry spoke for him. He did not allow Martin to respond to Janice’s question — Jerry did it for him. It was such an awkward moment that prompted Janice to wrap Martin in her arms. You can see the odd reactions to the whole thing.
That critical moment when I saw it — it raised a red flag for me. I did wonder whether if this so-called interpreter was qualified nor certified to interpret based on the fact that Jerry spoke before Martin could address Janice’s question.
And I was right.
Jerry Ferris is CODA — the Child of Deaf Adult — this is classic example of what is wrong with CODAs out there, they think that by living with their Deaf mothers and/or fathers, they knew everything about Deaf Culture and American Sign Language. Not even true at all. I know what I’m talking about because I have five siblings, and 2 of ’em are CODAs — not only that, I also observed hundreds of CODAs in the past. The pattern is there.
The truth is that they lived the experiences but they generally do not know the rules, history or customs of our language and community beyond their parents and/or siblings! That is major difference.
Obviously, Janice wants to scuffle all hot and good looking people on her series — they took Jerry despite the fact that he was not good at interpreting. It is possible that the series hired Jerry because his so-called ability to interpret is much cheaper than the qualified interpreters would charge.
Martin deserves the best. Martin deserves the qualified interpreter to ensure that he survives the competition throughout the fourth season. With Jerry Ferris speaking and answering things for Martin, I cannot help but be worried about Martin’s chances on the series!
The CODAs has the tendency to take over the conversations and run the whole thing for Deaf people. Not all CODAs do that, but many do. Very few CODAs had to re-learn and re-train themselves in order to be certified/qualified interpreter — many were too proud to admit that they simply are not good at interpreting. This is not a unique problem, it may be a common trait among many CODAs. This has happened one too many times but by no means, not all CODAs do that but simply, too many CODAs. You dig what I mean?
I am willing to bet that Jerry will not step aside in the best interests of Martin Ritchie. Jerry probably will dispatch his friends against me via emails as soon as I post this entry up.
Like it or not, Jerry is not qualified nor a good signer at all. Just look at the way he signs, that is the important thing, right?
*Enjoy reading this? Then support this site by clicking on this link. Thank you!