UPDATED: 5 Minute Crafts Video with Fake ASL and BSL Signs has Enraged the Community
Update: 5 Minute Crafts moved/deleted their video on facebook but left their instagram video up! They have shown no interest in fixing these issues and have chosen to ignore DSTidbit News in our inquiry about their intentions and if they had any plans to be inclusive. It has also been brought to our attention that they have their video up on YouTube still.
5 Minute Crafts is a verified Facebook account sharing quick five minute videos. Their page is a crafts page focused on doing it yourself. The community has been responding to a video that they posted at 8:30 AM on Thursday February 14, 2019. People are responding to the video imploring 5 Minute Crafts to remove their video unfortunately the admin of the page has only chose to respond to positive comments rather than responding to people that are upset.
One video response done by a BSL native signer told them that they had mixed up ‘family” in BSL an ASL. Not only did they mix up signs, they used incorrect signs for a large magnitude of signs such as BSL yes and no. In BSL, they say that they nod for yes and shake their head for no. The video had demonstrated hand in a fist shape shaking sideways for no.
Multiple people have also reported that the page, instead of responding in any form or manner, chose to block those individuals responding negatively to their video of “efforts to teach basic sign language” A page with 54 million followers is refusing to correct a mistake and allow the community to represent themselves?
Lynn Ford, founder of Deaf City on Facebook responded to the video, “Please hear the pleas of the native ASL and BSL users in this thread who are imploring you to remove this video. This is a video of a person who is clearly not fluent in either language attempting to show the world the signs-yet she’s doing half of them incorrectly, which is a HUGE disservice to both languages... It makes me question your integrity”
Cultural appropriation is a huge issue in the community when it comes to teaching any form of sign language, especially ASL and BSL. People are responding because they are asking the person to redo the video with native signers to allow education to continue but in the correct way. With the way the page is not responding to anybody, it has become apparent that they are not interested in suggestions and will continue to humiliate people that choose to learn from the signs that they teach.
This is why so many people frown upon hearing individuals teaching American Sign Language, because often they are not native signers and are unable to demonstrate accurate ways to sign things. Accents are picked up by students through their teachers however when people are learning inaccurate signs, they are being hurt in their ability to interact with the community. Cultural immersion is always the best way to learn languages and this is true even with sign language. American Sign Language and British Sign Language are not something to be learned through mediums such as 5 Minute Crafts because ASL/BSL are both very interactive languages.
DSTidbit News interviewed a teacher whose fluent in both ASL and BSL, he said “You stole sign language from Deaf Community and use it for your own benefit. I noticed that you signed almost every word incorrectly. I am fluent in both of ASL and BSL myself but you need to take this video down. If you don't, there will be severe consequences for you. It's called a culture appropriation.”
If you are interested in learning sign language, go to a local community college (you can ask if their teachers are native signers) and/or contact the local community through multiple means such as social media for ideas. 5-Minute Crafts administrators have chosen not to respond at this time to the article and inquiry from DSTidbit News.