NAD Calls Out Netflix on Captions
On September 9, 2009, the National Association of the Deaf requested that Netflix provide a captioned version of “The Wizard of Oz” movie that Netflix made available online, for free, for everyone on October 3, 2009. Netflix disregarded the NAD request along with thousands of letters, emails, comments, and tweets urging Netflix to caption the movie. Today, the NAD expressed its dismay at the lack of any response from Netflix and its failure to make this 70th anniversary celebration of “The Wizard of Oz” accessible to 36 million deaf and hard of hearing viewers.
UPDATE – Netflix Responded; Declined Invitation to Meet with the NAD
Monday, October 5, 2009
Thank you for your email. Netflix frequently communicates its commitment to provide closed captioning for the TV episodes and movies you can watch instantly and here is a blog post which provides more background http://blog.netflix.com/2009/06/closed-captions-and-subtitles.html
It was not simple for Netflix to instantly stream the Wizard of Oz this past weekend, otherwise we would have done it. Netflix developers continue to work on closed captioning and we will keep the deaf and hard of hearing community apprised of the progress.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Ms. Fisher --
Thank you for your response.
Our constituency is keenly interested in seeing Netflix online services made accessible through the provision of captions.
We would like to meet with Netflix to discuss this issue and your progress. Would that be possible?
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
We understand your eagerness to see closed captioning on movies and TV episodes instantly streamed from Netflix. As Netflix Chief Product Officer Dr. Neil Hunt explained on the Netflix Blog the technical process is complex.
Since closed captioning is included in our development plans and since we have addressed the situation at length we are going to decline the invitation to meet.
Thank you for your understanding and I will be sure to keep you apprised of progress.
The NAD is disappointed that Netflix declined our invitation to meet. While we are pleased to learn that closed captioning is included in Netflix development plans, "seeing is believing."