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CODA Star Troy Kotsur Made Us Cry With This Shout-Out to His ‘Hero’ Dad’s Sign Language Skills

Every once in a while there is an award show moment that truly manages to get us choked up with emotions. At the 2022 Oscars, that honor was reserved for Troy Kotsur’s speech after he made history as the first deaf man to win an Academy Award for acting. During his speech for best actor in a supporting role in CODA, Kotsur paid a sentimental tribute to his father that left not a dry eye in the house.

Kostur’s monumental award follows his CODA costar, Marlee Matlin’s, historic win as the first deaf actor to win an Oscar back in 1987 when she received the best actress award for Children of a Lesser God. It’s hard to believe that in 2022 the amount of deaf performers who get take home an Oscar award continues to be scarce but nevertheless, the win is a step in the right direction for a less ableist film industry. 

“This is amazing to be here on this journey. I cannot believe I’m here,” Kotsur began his acceptance speech. “Thank you so much to all the members of the Academy for recognizing my work.” Kotsur then went on to talk about the CODA cast’s recent visit to the White House where they got the chance to meet with both President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden.

“So we met President Joe and Dr. Jill, and I was planning on teaching them some dirty sign language, but Marlee Matlin told me to behave myself,” he said. “So don’t worry, Marlee, I won’t drop any f-bombs in my speech today. Instead, I want to thank all the wonderful deaf theater stages where I was allowed and given the opportunity to develop my craft as an actor.”

A sentimental Kotsur then specifically thanked his father who he called “the best signer in our family.” Of his dad, the actor added, “But he was in a car accident and he became paralyzed from the neck down. And he no longer was able to sign. Dad, I learned so much from you I’ll always love you. You are my hero.”

Kotsur concluded by dedicating his award “to the deaf community, the CODA community, and the disabled community,” speaking directly to his community he said: “This is our moment.”

Before you go, click here to see all the kids on the Oscars red carpet over the years.
Jada Pinkett Smith Will Smith Jaden Smiht Anna Paquin Gene Hackman

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