An Edmonton woman who had her online interaction with Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds go viral said she hopes the end result is more awareness of issues the deaf community faces with accessibility.
Crystal Jones, who is deaf, noticed on Twitter that Ryan Reynolds had shared a commercial on Friday that parodies a separate commercial that went viral earlier in the week for cycling company Peloton.
But the video Reynolds posted didn’t have captioning, meaning people who are hard of hearing wouldn’t be able to understand what was happening.
So Jones reached out to the actor on Twitter, and to her surprise, he not only replied — but with a captioned version of the video.
“I was like, ‘Oh my god,'” said Jones. “Most celebrities, they don’t really engage with their fans.”
As of Sunday, Jones’ tweet with the request had over 2.1k likes. She said while the interaction with Reynolds was a thrill, the awareness she’s spreading is the most important aspect.
“It is an ongoing issue. So many times I see a video not captioned. When I do… I just swipe by. I’m not going to watch it.
“Somebody offered a transcription (of Reynolds’ commercial) but I waved it off because it’s not the same experience.”
“We want to have that same parallel lived experience as everybody.”
She said that she hopes the viral video makes people and companies more aware of the importance of making the online world more accessible.
“A lot of times people think captions are just for deaf and hard of hearing people. But really it’s for everybody. A lot of hearing people will watch the video on their phone, and it would be on mute, and captions would help them,” Jones said.
“If you’re trying to market something, you’re doing yourself a disservice not captioning your video because you’re losing out on sales, you’re losing out on clients, you’re not reaching everybody.”
Reynolds’ initial tweet has over 263k likes on Twitter as of Sunday, and the second captioned tweet has reached 10.3k likes.