Viewers of Super Bowl LV got a brief glimpse of an ASL (American Sign Language) interpreter during the national anthem and they are craving for more! Unfortunately, CBS did not offer a split screen of the interpreter and Eric Church/Jazmine Sullivan’s performance of “The Star Spangled Banner.” Viewers at home only got a few background shots of the interpreter’s electric performance.
Who is Warren ‘Wawa’ Snipe?
The person interpreting the national anthem and “America The Beautiful” in ASL during Super Bowl LV was Warren “Wawa” Snipe. He is a Deaf rapper based in D.C. Born Deaf, the performer attended Gallaudet, graduating in 1994. He also has a recurring role on the CW show Black Lightning.
CBS News reports that Wawa describes his music as “Dip Hop,” or hip-hop through deaf eyes. As viewers may have noticed, he uses his entire body while translating music into ASL. He told the outlet that the interpretation is based on the “tone and tenor” of the musical performance.
Fans Call Out CBS For Not Showing Split Screen
The few minutes of screen-time Wawa got at the Super Bowl was enough to set Twitter ablaze. Many football fans shared their appreciation for the rapper’s glorious rendition. Some fans joked that Wawa won the Super Bowl with his performance. But disgruntled fans flooded the NFL and CBS’ timelines with complaints about the lack of a split screen.
In their interview with Wawa, CBS News notes that there have been similar complaints annually during the national anthem performances at the Super Bowl. The sporting event has had ASL interpreters during the opening festivities since 1992. However, only during rare occasions do they show viewers at home the ASL interpreter throughout the performances.
Actress Marlee Matlin famously stood next to Garth Brooks to interpret his performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” into ASL. In fact, it was only because of Brooks’ insistence did Marlee Matlin appear on camera for the entire song.
Marlee Matlin also interpreted Lady Gaga’s national anthem performance at Super Bowl 50, but she was barely shown on-screen for viewers at home.
Since many interested viewers did not get to see the ASL performance from Super Bowl LV in its entirety, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) uploaded it to their YouTube.
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