The closed-captioning during Bad Bunny’s Grammy Awards performance read “SINGING IN NON-ENGLISH,” sparking backlash from fans.
The hugely popular Puerto Rican artist kicked off the broadcast with a medley of songs in Spanish. Viewers, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing, complained the reductive transcription in the captions was “insulting,” “racist” and “ignorant.”
The diss continued in Bad Bunny’s acceptance speech for Best Música Urbana Album, “Un Verano Sin Ti,” which he gave in Spanish and English. The captioning then read “SPEAKING NON-ENGLISH.”
While Bad Bunny’s victory would not be known ahead of the show, his act certainly was, leaving Grammy organizers and CBS culpable for not hiring a bilingual closed-captioner, Deadline noted. Other acts were transcribed onscreen, the entertainment site reported.
Deepening the disrespect is Bad Bunny’s reach, Twitter users pointed out. He was streamed more than Taylor Swift in recently released Spotify data and was second overall behind Drake. But many felt he was treated like a second-class citizen during the ceremony.
The recent Sundance Film Festival was hit by a walkout of jurors, including deaf Oscar-winner Marlee Matlin, because the closed-captioning failed to work during the premiere of a movie in competition, “Magazine Dreams.”
CBS planned to use Spanish-language captions on a West Coast replay of the Grammy Awards, sources told Deadline, but that was too late for many.