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Episode 129 — Closed Captioning

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The wonderfully talented Amrit Singh (Executive Editor of Stereogum.com, director of Dosa Hunt) joins Andrew Ti to talk about the possibility of closed captioning being racist. If anyone is well-versed in closed captioning, call us at (323) 389-RACE let us know if we don’t know what we’re talking about.

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I suspect that

1) Closed caption does not try to "spell out" vernacular or accents.

2) Closed caption does spell out curse words whenever the curse word is not bleeped. So yeah, I'm sure the F-word is written out in The Wire's captioning.

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I've seen a handful of BBC documentaries use what seems like racist closed captioning on Irish and Scotts. It usually comes in the form of subtitling what is pretty easy to understand accented English as if they where speaking an incredibly hard to decipher and very foreign dialect. Happens in a similar fashion with Japanese people in interviews as well (especially to the architect IM Pei).

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