I Did It: Troy Kotsur Becomes First Deaf Man To Win An Oscar For CODA

Image Credits: Twitter/Jason Carlos 

The Logical Indian Crew

'I Did It': Troy Kotsur Becomes First Deaf Man To Win An Oscar For 'CODA'

While the actor is the first hearing-impaired man to win the coveted award in the Supporting Actor category, his co-star in the movie, Marlee Matlin, was the first deaf performer to bag an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1987.

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'Look at me now. I did it.'

Actor Troy Kotsur used sign language to express his gratitude on the global stage after winning the Academy Award for the Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the film CODA.' With this, Kotsur created history by becoming the first hearing-impaired man to win the coveted award and the second deaf actor to achieve this feat.

Kotsur pipped the likes of actors such as Kodi Smit-McPhee, JK Simmons and the like who were nominated in the same category for 'The Power of The Dog' and 'Being the Ricardos' respectively. Not only that, 'CODA' also received the prestigious 'Best Film' award that received thunderous applause from the audience at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles.

'This Is Our Moment'

As Oscar tradition goes, the award was presented to Kotsur by Yuh-Jung Youn who won the Best Supporting Actress last year for 'Minari.' It was a glorious moment when she signed 'Congratulations' that made it clear that the actor took home the prize. "My dad, he was the best signer in our family, but he was in a car accident and he became paralysed from the neck down, and he no longer was able to sign. Dad, I learned so much from you. I'll always love you. You are my hero," The New York Times quoted his acceptance speech for which he used the American Sign Language (ASL). Further, he dedicated the award to the global deaf community.


Troy Kotsur received a standing ovation when he received the award. Along with this, they did silent applause by waving their hands in the air. The video went viral on several social media platforms and was shared by several users.

Interestingly, Kotsur is the second deaf artist to win an Oscar. His 'CODA' co-star Marlee Matlin was the first hearing-impaired artiste to win the Oscar for the 1986 film 'Children of a Lesser God' where she bagged the Best Actress. In fact, the actor has called Matlin his inspiration because of whom he became an actor,

Firsts For Many

This year, the Academy Award was in the news for several reasons. Not just Troy Kotsur, many other winners and nominees created history as well. Actresses Kristen Stewart and Ariana DeBose became the first openly gay women to be nominated for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress respectively for films 'Spencer' and 'West Side Story. DeBose won the coveted title as well.

British-Pakistani actor Riz Ahmed became the first Muslim to win the Academy Award for Best Live-Action Film called 'The Long Goodbye.' In 2021, he was nominated for Best Actor for his role as a deaf drummer in the film 'Sound of Metal.' Jane Campion, who won the Best Director award for the film 'The Power of The Dog', became the first female filmmaker to be nominated twice for an Oscar. Also, she is the third woman to win the prestigious title.

Also Read: Writing With Fire: Indian Documentary On Dalit Women Journalists Bags Oscar Nomination

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Writer : Akanksha Saxena
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Editor : Ankita Singh
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Creatives : Akanksha Saxena