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‘Tonight Show’ Slammed for Jamie Foxx’s Sign Language Imitation

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A 28-year old model and deaf advocate was outraged by Jamie Foxx’s imitation of sign language on the Sunday night episode of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”.

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Nyle DiMarco, who was the winner of “Dancing with the Stars” in Season 22, vented his outrage on Twitter saying that “Jamie Foxx’s behavior with Jimmy Fallon on Fallon Tonight should not be tolerated anywhere. We simply do not make fun at the expense of other cultures especially those with a history of being marginalized.”

Not only was DiMarco insulted by the fake sign language that was aired Friday night, but the deaf community was irked as well. Being a prominent advocate of hearing-impaired people, DiMarco declared that making fun of sign language is “straight up disrespectful.”

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DiMarco appeared and won reality contests including Dancing with the Stars and America’s Next Top Model. Being deaf himself, he strongly advocates community support and other causes for hearing-impaired people, especially children.

He said that with both Foxx and Fallon making fun of sign language lacked “cultural sensitivity” and  mentioned on his social media page that the behavior made progress take “a step backward.”

“What Foxx did on the Fallon Tonight made our struggles that much harder.” wrote DiMarco.


DiMarco is a native of Queens, N.Y. and graduated from Gallaudet University, a popular university for the hearing-impaired. His advocacy for the betterment of deaf people led him to create a non-profit organization called The Nyle DiMarco Foundation, which provides educational support for deaf children.

A lot of the DWTS star’s fans responded via social media, urging both Foxx and Fallon to release an apology. Others fired back at the reality star, saying that it was a harmless joke. Both the show host and the actor have not yet responded to the incident.

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