Super Bowl 2020 Sign Language Artist Condemns Fox for Excluding Her Performance On Air

Sign language artist Christine Sun Kim expresses "huge disappointment" in Fox News for not airing 2020 Super Bowl performance

By Cydney Contreras Feb 05, 2020 1:28 AMTags
Christine Sun Kim, Demi LovatoInstagram

Christine Sun Kim is voicing her "huge disappointment" in Fox Sports for neglecting to include her performance at the 2020 Super Bowl.

In an article written for The New York Times, the American Sign Language artist says she was "angry and exasperated" to learn they did not feature her performance on telecasts of the game. She also points out, "On what was supposed to be a 'bonus feed' dedicated to my full performance on the Fox Sports website, the cameras cut away to show close-ups of the players roughly midway through each song."

"Why have a sign language performance that is not accessible to anyone who would like to see it? It's 2020: We've had the technology to do so for decades," she writes. 

Christine also reveals she hesitated to agree to perform at the Super Bowl, citing her support for Colin Kaepernick. "Being deaf in America has always been political, and I needed to process some internal conflict before accepting. I knew that some musical artists had refused opportunities to perform at the game last year in support of Colin Kaepernick," the artist shares. "I wondered whether I should do the same."

As she explains, deaf people have been "mistreated or killed by police" in recent years, similar to people in the black community. 

However, Christine says she felt it was important to appear at the Super Bowl because she believes her "appearance might raise awareness of the systemic barriers and the stigmas attached to our deafness—and move some people to action." So she accepted the invitation to perform at the 2020 Super Bowl, alongside Yolanda Adams and Demi Lovato.

Despite her apparent lack of airtime, the artist says she's has "pride" in being chosen for the performance, which can be seen on the National Association of the Deaf's YouTube. "I wholeheartedly support the efforts to promote accessibility and equality that have been undertaken by the N.F.L. and the N.A.D. I also stand in recognition and support of those who have used the N.F.L.'s platform toward wider goals of social justice."

As Christine noted, Fox Sports' decision was slammed by stars from across the board, including deaf actress Marlee Matlin, model Nyle DiMarco and many more. Matlin, who's an outspoken advocate for the deaf community, tweeted: "To ALL networks: next time at #SuperBowl when the signer like @chrisunkim is performing #NationalAnthem & America the Beautiful they should be on the broadcast the WHOLE time, not a few seconds. SHOW the beauty of ASL either in a bubble, split screen or next to singer It's time!"

E! News has reached out to Fox Sports for comment.