Troy Kotsur Historic Oscar Win Gets Applause In Sign Language From Audience

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We can choose to focus on the good or focus on the bad. This is often known as seeing the glass as half full or half empty. When it comes to last night’s Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, there were both good and bad moments. We’re going to choose to focus on the good.

Perhaps you filled out your Oscar ballet ahead of time, trying to see if you could guess who would win in each category. Perhaps you didn’t even know the awards show was happening and are just now hearing about the winners. Either way, the win for Best Supporting Actor was historic for several reasons.

Actor Troy Kotsur won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the film “CODA” which also won Best Picture. Kotsur is deaf, and he is the first male actor to ever win an Academy Award.

Actress Youn Yuh-jung, who won Best Supporting Actress last year, had the honor of announcing the winner. After opening the envelope but before reading Kotsur’s name, she signed Kotsur’s name to him so that he would be the first person to know that he won the award. As he walked to the stage, the audience alternated between clapping and signing applause to him.

Once on stage, Kotsur took the award from Yuh-jung, but he only held onto it briefly before handing it back to her. He needed his hands free so that he would use American Sign Language for his acceptance speech. An interpreter translated his speech.

Watch this historic moment for yourself in the video below.

“CODA” stands for “Child of Deaf Adult” is about a girl named Ruby who is not deaf and is the only person in her family who is not deaf. Kotsur played Frank, Ruby’s father.

During his acceptance speech, Kotsur dedicated the award “to the Deaf community, the CODA community and the disabled community. This is our moment.”

Backstage, Kotsur explained the importance of ASL in his life. He signed, “ASL saved my life because it helped me understand how to read English and math and science and theater and scripts. Sign language is so rich.”

“CODA” is currently streaming on Apple TV+.

Did you watch the Academy Awards last night? Have you seen the movie “CODA”?