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‘A misunderstanding’: Deaf Oscar-nominee Troy Kotsur denies accusations of ‘drunken mid-air row’

A rep for CODA star Troy Kotsur denied the actor was involved in what was described as ‘a drunken mid-air altercation’ during an American Airlines flight from London to Los Angeles in February, chalking it up to a ‘misunderstanding.’

The 53-year-old actor, according to a report from The U.K. Sun, ‘had sunk about 10 small bottles of vodka and appeared to have an increasingly heated discussion in sign language with his wife’ Deanne Bray, 50, a passenger on the flight told the outlet.

Kotsur’s rep told Dailymail.com Wednesday that ‘in 2022, no airline attendant will serve a passenger 10 vodkas, nor any number of drinks even close to that amount.’

The latest: A rep for CODA star Troy Kotsur, 53, denied the actor was involved in what was described as ‘a drunken mid-air altercation’ during an American Airlines flight from London to Los Angeles in February, chalking it up to a ‘misunderstanding.’ He was snapped earlier this month in London 

The Deaf actor, who is nominated for the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Frank Rossi in the film CODA, did not have his sign language translator with him on the flight, The U.K. Sun reported.

Kotsur’s rep confirmed that the actor ‘and his wife missed a flight, which caused them to fly without an interpreter,’ which ‘lead to a misunderstanding which was immediately cleared up when someone was contacted to interpret upon landing.’

The passenger told The U.K. Sun that Kotsur and Bray, who is Deaf, were communicating when ‘suddenly it all kicked off, and he was gesticulating wildly as bits of food and cutlery were flying around. One lady got hit and burst into tears.’

Kotsur’s rep told Dailymail.com that ‘ASL is an entire language, not “gesticulation,”‘ and that ‘it is a completely visual language that is communicated through expressive, physical movement of the hands, arms, and facial expressions.

The actor is nominated for the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Frank Rossi in the film CODA

The actor is nominated for the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Frank Rossi in the film CODA 

Kotsur has had a successful run this award season with wins for best supporting actor at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the British Academy Film Awards and the Critics' Choice Movies Awards for his performance in Apple TV+'s CODA. He was snapped in London earlier this month

Kotsur has had a successful run this award season with wins for best supporting actor at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the British Academy Film Awards and the Critics’ Choice Movies Awards for his performance in Apple TV+’s CODA. He was snapped in London earlier this month 

‘Other than Troy and his wife, there was no other person on that plane that spoke ASL. It is not uncommon when speaking in ASL during meals in small quarters, for cups, food, or silverware to be accidentally hit or knocked over.’

Kotsur’s rep told Dailymail.com that ‘airlines as a whole, generally do not have sign language support for Deaf passengers.’

A rep for the actor told The U.K. Sun that ‘once there was someone able to interpret over FaceTime, everyone shook hands and walked away.’

Kotsur ‘is a nervous flier anyway, and was stressed because he didn’t have his translator with him,’ his rep told the outlet. Kotsur ‘was signing expansively which can be uncomfortable for hearing people,’ and ‘obviously, it was a complete accident anyone got hit,’ as ‘his elbow knocked something off his tray.’

Kotsur has had a successful run this award season with wins for best supporting actor at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the British Academy Film Awards and the Critics’ Choice Movies Awards for his performance in Apple TV+’s CODA.

In an interview with NBC News published Tuesday, the actor opened up on the possibility he could become the first Deaf man to win an Oscar for acting. (His CODA co-star Marlee Matlin won the Best Actress Oscar in 1987 for Children of a Lesser God.)

‘If that happens, I would be thrilled,’ Kotsur said through an American Sign Language interpreter. ‘But it’s really important for young Deaf kids out there to feel inspired and have hope, not only as actors but directors, writers, producers, in front of or behind the camera. I don’t want them to feel limited.

‘With the technology that we have these days, life is getting better for Deaf people. Like how we’re communicating right now, with an interpreter … it’s been an amazing transformation for Deaf people. I feel like I’m Generation X and I’m ready to pass it on to the next generation.’


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