Best Picture winner, CODA is the first film with a largely deaf cast to win the Oscars top prize.
Troy Kotsur won best supporting actor for his performance in the film and is the first deaf man to do so. CODA’s Director Sian Heder also won Best Adapted Screenplay.
CODA stands for Children of Deaf Adults.
“It’s just a really exciting time to be deaf,” said Sean Forbes, a deaf rapper out of Ferndale.
“To see all of these actors waving their hands like this (applause in American Sign Language), I just had goosebumps, tears,” said Forbes. “My second favorite moment is when Sian Heder, the Director, brought an interpreter on stage with her and gave a speech with the interpreter right there. To me, that was just so powerful and to show the beauty of sign language and the beauty of access.”
Forbes said witnessing CODA win all three of the categories they were nominated for is significant to the deaf community, but the hope is that its reach will go beyond that.
“It just goes to show that anybody with a disability can overcome and can succeed,” Forbes said. “And this movie, I just hope that it really changes a lot of perceptions of the deaf community, of the disabled community, and especially the CODA community,” Forbes said.
Forbes said he has two children of his own that are considered CODA, which made the film more memorable for him.
“My kids haven’t seen the film,” Forbes said. “I don’t think it’s age-appropriate for them yet, but I look forward to the day that I’m able to sit down with them and for them to watch this movie and see themselves on the screen.”
Forbes believes that the monumental wins Sunday (March 27) night is just the beginning and has inspired people like him.
“For me, I want to go to the Grammys,” Forbes said. “I want to see, you know, the work that I do and the music that I make be recognized on the same stage. Those are goals for me, and this movie really showed that it’s possible.”