September 16, 2017 3:54 pm
Updated: September 16, 2017 4:00 pm

Hurricane Irma sign language interpreter spoke of pizza, bears, monsters during update

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A man who was called in last minute to provide sign-language interpretation for a Hurricane Irma update in Manatee County, Fla., caused outrage when he spoke gibberish during an emergency update.

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Local officials told WFLA they were “in a pinch” when they drafted Marshall Greene to translate for them. Greene was called in because his older brother is deaf and he had an understanding of sign language.

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But his interpretation immediately raised eyebrows as he spoke gibberish while also referencing pizza, bears and monsters during his update.

“I knew something went horribly wrong,” Charlene McCarthy told WFLA.

Her company provides interpreters for Manatee County on a regular basis.

“It was horribly unnerving for me,” she explained. “To watch that, knowing I could provide a qualified, certified interpreter.”

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Jason Hurdich, a Clemson University professor famous for his animated sign interpretations, told the Bradenton Herald, he was “shocked” by the news conference.

“It’s critical, especially in an emergency situation,” Hurdich said.

A video of the conference, which translates what he actually said, has gone viral, having been watched nearly 400,000 times.

Greene’s family has come to his defence.

“He only did what he was told to do, so please leave our family alone,” his brother told CBS News.

Greene’s day job is working with a marine rescue unit. He also aided in the Hurricane Irma rescue efforts.

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