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

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.

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.

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

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“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.

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“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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