“I am absolutely SHOCKED at @CBS for introducing the Deaf performers at today’s pregame #SuperBowl and then not showing even one second (or more) of their performance… as has been tradition for the last 30 years. WHY!?” she posted on X (formerly Twitter).
The Oscar-winning actress was referring to the trio of pregame performances by Post Malone, who sang “America the Beautiful”; Andra Day, who performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing”; and Reba McEntire, who performed the National Anthem.
The pregame performances also featured American Sign Language performances. On behalf of the National Association of the Deaf, actor-choreographer Shaheem Sanchez performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing” in ASL; actress, model and dancer Anjel Piñero performed “America the Beautiful” in ASL; and CODA actor Daniel Durant signed the National Anthem.
Matlin was seemingly commenting on the fact that the only part of the ASL performances that was shown during the live broadcast was a brief cut to Sanchez during “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” (Sanchez was introduced on the air ahead of the performance and is also set to perform the ASL rendition of the halftime show featuring Usher.) Piñero’s and Durant’s performances were not shown.
CBS Sports does have a dedicated landing page on its website, where it aired a special live stream of Sunday’s ASL performers during the preshow, and posted about that on X. It also plans to do the same with Usher’s halftime show. A source told The Hollywood Reporter that this strategy is in line with pregame coverage in years past.
(The rights to the Super Bowl broadcast rotate among Fox, NBC and CBS every three years.)
Matlin herself is no stranger to the Super Bowl, having performed the National Anthem alongside Garth Brooks at Super Bowl XXVII in 1993.