Troy Kotsur made Oscar history in 2022 as the first deaf male actor to take home a statuette for Best Supporting Actor.
In his Academy Award acceptance speech, delivered in American Sign Language, the actor paid tribute to his father, director Sian Heder, and co-star Marlee Matlin, who became the first deaf actor to win an Oscar in 1987 at the age of 21.
He also revealed that the cast of coda had met President Joe Biden at the White House, with Kotsur joking that Matlin was the only person who stopped him from teaching the president rude words in sign language.
The audience also thanked Kotsur with a standing ovation by waving their hands. He won for his role as Frank Rossi in the Apple TV+ film. His character is the deaf fishing father of Ruby (Emilia Jones), a “death child” who can hear and is interested in a singing career despite her parents’ disapproval.
Full length Troy Kotsur’s Oscar acceptance speech
“It’s amazing to be here on this journey. I can’t believe I’m here. Thank you to all members of the Academy for recognizing my work.
“It’s really amazing that our film coda has spread worldwide. It even reached the White House. And they invited the cast to Kota to visit the White House and do a tour.
“We have President Joe and Dr. Met Jill and I was planning to teach them dirty sign language but Marlee Matlin told me to behave so don’t worry Marlee I won’t be dropping f-bombs in my speech today.
“Instead, I would like to say a big thank you to all the wonderful deaf theater stages that have given me the opportunity and opportunity to develop my craft as an actor. Thanks.
“I recently read one of Spielberg’s books and he said that the best director, the definition of the best director, is a skilled communicator, Sian Heder, you are the best communicator. And the reason for that is because you brought the deaf world and the hearing world together.
“You are our bridge. And your name will forever be on this bridge, Sian Heder Bridge here in Hollywood, and that was supported by Apple, Sundance, all of our cast or crew, our producers, and the community of Gloucester, Massachusetts.
“So I just want to say, hey Fischer, hey Popeye’s, don’t forget to eat your spinach!
“My dad, he was the best signer in our family. But he was in a car accident. And he got paralyzed from the neck down. And he couldn’t sign anymore. Dad. I learned so much from you. I’ll always have you.” love. You are my hero. Thank you.
“Thank you to my biggest fans, my wife and daughter Kiera, and to my hometown of Mesa, Arizona. And to Mark Finley, my manager and our team. Just wanted to say that this is dedicated to the deaf community coda community and community for the disabled. This is our moment. To my mother, my father and my brother Mark. You are not here today, but look at me now. I did it. I love you. Thanks.”
https://www.newsweek.com/oscars-2022-troy-kotsur-best-supporting-actor-coda-speech-1692296 Read his emotional speech here