Renowned Deaf Actress Matlin Responds To Report Trump Called Her ‘Retarded’

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Actress Marlee Matlin responded Friday to a report that Donald Trump called her “retarded” during her time on “Celebrity Apprentice,” tweeting Friday she will “making herself heard.”

“It’s not about insults or taking each other down,” she wrote. “As a person who is Deaf, as a woman, as a mom, as a wife, as an actor, I have a voice. And I’m using that voice to make myself heard…and vote.”

In a Daily Beast report published Thursday night, three unnamed sources who worked on the show during Matlin’s season in 2011 told the site that Trump would insult Matlin, who is deaf, to her face and behind her back, acting as if she was mentally disabled.

“[Trump] would often equate that she was mentally retarded,” said one source, who told the Daily Beast how kind Matlin and her interpreter, Jack Jason, were to them.

Trump also reportedly would scribble notes like “Marlee, is she retarded??” during tapings, and would make similar comments about Matlin to his son, Donald Trump Jr., and others while still mic’d up in between shots.

“[Trump] would make fun of her voice. It actually sounded a lot like what he did [to] the New York Times guy,” another source told the site, referring to Trump’s mocking of a New York Times reporter who has a physical disability.

“Like, to make it seem like she was mentally not there?” he continued. “[It] sounded like he got a real kick out of it. It was really upsetting.”

A source told The Daily Beast that Matlin stood up for herself after one incident, but it was not included in the final cut of that episode. While she did not outright confirm the incidents, Matlin stood up for herself again on Twitter following the report, releasing this statement:

The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment on The Daily Beast’s story.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kristin is the Front Page Editor based in New York City. She is a graduate of Ohio University and her byline has been featured in Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan. Follow her on Twitter @kristinsalaky.
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